Joseph Mallord William Turner

Red Scar on the River Ribble near Preston, Looking North-East Towards Pendle Hill


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 173 × 260 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXLVIII 23 a

Catalogue entry

This is the left half of a double-page spread continued to the right on folio 43 recto (D11563; Turner Bequest CXLVIII 24, now bound opposite). The spread forms a panorama of the Ribble Valley looking north-east towards Pendle Hill, as seen from Red Scar, about three and a half miles north-east of Preston, and just under eleven miles south-west of Browsholme Hall where Turner was based on this leg of his tour, as the guest of his patron Thomas Lister Parker. The panorama is the first subject in this sketchbook from Turner’s itinerary of 1816.1
The house on the bluff to the left of the sketch is Red Scar, a two-storey gabled timber and plaster building, Elizabethan in origin, but heavily modernised in 1798. The owner was William Cross (died 1827), and his son enlarged the house with the addition of the library in 1840.2 The house was demolished in 1935 to make way for Courtauld’s chemical factory, which has since given way to Red Scar Industrial Estate. Exactly the same view as Turner’s was recorded by J.B. Pyne in a watercolour in 18283 and in an engraving for Hardwick’s History of the Borough of Preston published in 1857. Turner sketched the house in greater detail in the Yorkshire 2 sketchbook (Tate D11353; Turner Bequest CXLV 178).
The full itinerary is established by the intact Yorkshire 2 sketchbook (Tate D11042–D11371; D40844–D40845; D41443; Turner Bequest CXLVI). See Hill 1984, p.39, where the subject is mistakenly identified as Hurst Green, a mile or two north-east.
See Victoria County History: County of Lancaster, 1907, pp.108–113.
With Ackermann & Johnson in 1998.

David Hill
May 2009

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