These carefully rendered studies depict the two principal monuments at the village of Orford on the Suffolk North Sea coast. Orford Castle’s mighty polygonal keep is rendered at the uppermost register. It was built between 1165 and 1173 by King Henry II to consolidate his power in the region. At centre and at rear are drawings of St Bartholomew’s Church and the ruins of the first Norman church which surround it to this day (see Tate D18306; Turner Bequest CCIX 87a). Turner has also jotted some small details of the tracery and mouldings which decorate St Bartholomew’s.
For other sketches of Orford see Tate D18304–D18306, D18308–D18309; Turner Bequest CCIX 86a–87a, 88a–89. The sketches are associated with a vignette watercolour of Orford Haven produced in around 1827 for the East Coast series (see general introduction) and the highly finished watercolour Orford, Suffolk of the same date intended for the England and Wales print publication project.1
Wilton 1979, p.393 no.796 and Krause 1997, p.162 no.49.