Joseph Mallord William Turner

Shrewsbury from the East, with Shrewsbury Abbey


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 191 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 14

Catalogue entry

The general view is west across the River Severn towards the centre of Shrewsbury, with the tower of St Julian’s Church (now St Julian’s Centre), the spire of St Alkmund’s Church, the Royal Salop Infirmary and the spire and east end of St Mary the Virgin’s Church across the middle of the skyline. Below to the left is the crest of the English Bridge, with the tower of Shrewsbury Abbey on its near side to the left. The tower and east end of the abbey, prior to its restoration and elongation, are also shown in a separate drawing below.
The buildings lightly indicated on the right do not appear to survive; later housing and trees around the abbey make the exact viewpoint difficult to establish. The tower-like structure towards the right is actually the chimney stack of a house in the foreground, as seen in the watercolour Abbey Church, Shrewsbury by John Chessell Buckler (1793–1894; Shrewsbury Museums Service), which shows the same view;1 Turner’s continues a little to the right across the right-hand half of folio 15 recto (D22177), among sketches of Chester. The vertical line towards the left of the present page separates the main sketch from a slight continuation of the Shrewsbury subject on folio 13 verso opposite (D22174); the upright feature is Lord Hill’s Column. For other drawings of the town, see under folio 12 verso (D22172).

Matthew Imms
April 2014

Reproduced as ‘Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury’, Darwin Country, accessed 26 September 2013,

Read full Catalogue entry


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