Here Turner records St Agatha’s Abbey, Easby from the south-east, near Easby Hall, with the small church of St Agatha in the foreground, and the keep of Richmond Castle in the centre distance. The sketch served as the basis of a watercolour study or ‘colour-beginning’ (Tate D25153; Turner Bequest CCLXIII 31). Turner sketched a similar view in the Yorkshire 2 sketchbook (Tate D11238; Turner Bequest CXLV 119), which accompanied him on the same tour.
St Agatha’s Abbey, Easby, stands on the north bank of the River Swale about three quarters of a mile downstream (east) of Richmond. It was founded by Roald, Constable of Richmond Castle, in 1155 for a community of Premonstratensian canons and was suppressed in 1536. The extensive and substantial remains are in the care of English Heritage and open to the public.
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