Here Turner looks to the east, with Scarborough Castle descending towards the North Sea on the skyline. The approaches to the castle are now largely built over, though glimpses of the view can be seen from Castle Road and Longwestgate; Turner shows a rural prospect, with a cow lurking by the trees on the left.
There is a closer view of the castle from a similar angle in the Scarborough 1 sketchbook (Tate D11917; Turner Bequest CL 3) and comparable views in the same book (Tate D11940; Turner Bequest CL 21) and in the Scarborough 2 sketchbook (Tate D11960–D11962; Turner Bequest CLI 8, 9, 10). As David Hill notes in his entry for it, D11940 bears similar inscriptions, and may have been made on the same occasion, likely to have been in 1816; see also the similar comments under Tate D11972 (Turner Bequest CLI 18) in Scarborough 2.
Turner had visit the town on numerous occasions over the years, first making drawings in the Dunbar and Chester sketchbooks of 1801 (Tate; Turner Bequest LIV, LXXXII), and a handful of finished watercolours culminated in Scarborough of about 1825 (Tate D18142; Turner Bequest CCVIII I),1 engraved in 1826 for the Ports of England.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.387, no.751, reproduced.