Joseph Mallord William Turner

South-West Transept of Kelso Abbey


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 58 a

Catalogue entry

This study of Kelso Abbey is from the west-south-west and shows the ruins of the south-west transept with the west tower behind. Through the tall archway of the remains of the west tower can be seen the octagonal lantern roof of Kelso Parish Church. To the left of the sketch is a separate long narrow sketch of another part of the abbey, apparently drawn to record the different levels of the building.
Beneath the main study is a small sketch of the abbey from the same angle but from further away, which puts it in the context of its immediate surroundings.
At the right of the page, with the sketchbook turned to the right, is a small sketch which appears to be a depiction of a classical building. This may be Springwood House which stood in Springwood Park just to the south-west of Kelso (see folio 55 verso; D26023; CCLXVII 57a).1 There are studies of other sides of the abbey on folios 56 and 57 (D26024, D26026; CCLXVII 58, 59).

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

There is a photograph of the house on ‘Springwood Park’, Kelso Scotland (website), accessed 23 June 2009,

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