Turner used this page, with the sketchbook turned to the left, on two occasions. The first was following his visit to Ashestiel on 5 August 1831, and the second was two days later with a trip to Newark Castle. The sketch at the top of the page therefore shows Ashestiel above the river bank at the left of the picture. Turner made this sketch as his party (which included Sir Walter Scott and his publisher Robert Cadell) left the house to return to Scott’s home at Abbotsford, following the Tweed east and then north. As Cadell recalled in his diary: ‘Mr Turner wished to have five minutes more for a new turn of the River which he thought pretty’.1 The view of the house (its eastern elevation) is repeated in a small detail sketch at the bottom left of folio 85 (Tate D26082; CCLXVII 87). The sketch beneath this one may either be a view across the river to a building on the opposite bank, or a view of Smailholme Tower from a distance made the following day (see folio 81 verso; D26075; CCLXVII 83a for a drawing with a similar appearance).
Turner made another sketch from around this point on folio 85 verso (Tate D26083; CCLXVII 87a), and another two ‘about half a mile farther on by a ford’2 on folios 84 verso and 85 (Tate D26081, D26082; CCLXVII 86a, 87). For further information on Turner’s sketches of Ashestiel see folio 88 (D26088; CCLXVII 90).