Joseph Mallord William Turner

?New Bridge, Gunnislake, or Horsebridge and the Royal Inn on the River Tamar


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 90 × 152 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXII 131

Catalogue entry

Diana Cook and Dorothy Kirk originally reproduced this drawing without disputing Finberg’s Gunnislake identification, but in discussing it and several other views (folios 117 verso, 123 recto and 125 recto; D09611, D09622, D09626) they noted that ‘Cornish granite bridges ... are remarkably similar in design’ and suggest that as well as New Bridge at Gunnislake, Turner probably drew Greystone Bridge and Horsebridge,1 a few miles up the Tamar. They later identified the buildings on the left as the former Royal Oak inn;2 however, this building stands some distance up the old Tavistock road, in a direct line from the west end of the bridge.
This view may rather be of Horsebridge, about two miles up the Tamar south of Endsleigh Cottage (see folios 129 verso, 130 recto and 130 verso opposite (D09634–D09636) as Turner travelled between there and the Gunnislake/Calstock area, making the building on the left the Royal Inn on the Devon bank, and the general direction of the view to the south-west towards Luckett on the Cornish side.
For other views along the Tamar Valley, see under folio 114 verso (D09606).

Matthew Imms
June 2014

Cook and Kirk 2001, p.29; see modern photographs of Horesebridge and Newbridge, pp.29 and 30 respectively.
Cook and Kirk 2009, p.46; see also modern photograph of the inn, p.9.

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