Joseph Mallord William Turner

Remains of Coverham Abbey


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 97 × 154 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXLIV 46 a

Catalogue entry

These remains belong to the nave of Coverham Abbey, Coverdale, and Turner has added details of decorative elements to the right, and another detail of Coverham Church from the north-east, top left. Turner’s notation ‘north’ refers to a detail of a lancet on the north side of the church. On the same visit, Turner sketched the abbey and church in greater detail from a viewpoint to the north-east in the Yorkshire 3 sketchbook (Tate D11401–D11402; Turner Bequest CXLVI 21–22). The detail of the church relates to that view rather than to the present view.
Coverham Abbey is about five miles west of Jervaulx Abbey, and under two miles south-west of Middleham in a pretty side valley of the River Ure. It was founded on this site in about 1200 and was dissolved in 1536. The remains were incorporated into the private grounds of a manor house, but may be partly glimpsed from the road immediately outside or from the opposite side of the valley. The parish Church of Holy Trinity is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust and open daily.

David Hill
January 2009

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