Joseph Mallord William Turner

Peak Cavern; ?Chester Cathedral; Newcastle: The Cathedral, the Black Gate and the Castle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 191 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 36

Catalogue entry

Ian Warrell has identified the steeple on the right as the tower and spire of St Nicholas’s Cathedral, Newcastle1 drawn, like the other somewhat miscellaneous sketches here, with the page turned vertically. The tower is shown from the south along St Nicholas Street, from the vicinity of the medieval Black Gate, seen at the top left from the west. This outer barbican of Newcastle Castle now stands in isolation, separated from the keep of the castle to the south (seen at the top right here) by the railway running into the nearby Central Station. These Newcastle views are likely to have been made on the last stages of the 1831 Scottish tour (see the sketchbook’s Introduction), fitted in around the other drawings on this page; for others of the city, see under folio 8 recto (D22163).
The loose, arched shape at the top may be part of the interior of Chester Cathedral, as shown on folio 35 recto (D22214), or a schematic rendering of the roof of Peak Cavern below Peveril Castle at Castleton, which is seen on adjacent pages. The subject on folio 37 verso (D22219) is positively identified as Peak Cavern by an inscription. Turner’s words below a series of upright forms above the centre here may indicate a ‘rope run’ along the frameworks inside the cavern used in rope-making; see under folio 2 recto (D22153). There appears to be a second cave view below. For other views of the castle, village and cave, see under folio 1 verso (D22152).

Matthew Imms
April 2014

Ian Warrell, notes from 1993 and later in Tate catalogue files.

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop