Joseph Mallord William Turner

Scenes at Yarmouth


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 115 × 118 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCIX 30

Catalogue entry

Here Turner depicts Yarmouth on the Norfolk coast; the sketches were executed with the book turned upside down. The uppermost view shows the monument to Admiral Nelson at right (see Tate D18212; Turner Bequest CCIX 29). At centre and at rear are sketches of Yarmouth and its medieval town walls and towers (the central view appears to continue onto the folio opposite: Tate D18213; Turner Bequest CCIX 29a). These fortifications date from 1261 when King Henry II granted Yarmouth the right to enclose itself with a wall and ditch for the purposes of defence and levying taxes.1 Blackfriars’ Tower is depicted here in some detail, built from local flints and pebbles in a chequerboard pattern. Turner’s sketches are associated with designs for both the England and Wales (Tate impression T04547) and East Coast engraving schemes, though the latter design, housed at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, was unpublished.2

Alice Rylance-Watson
January 2015

‘Medieval Town Wall’, Greater Yarmouth, accessed 13 January 2015,
Wilton 1979, p.394 no.810 and 405 no.904.

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop