Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Dovestone in Hall Beck Gill, near Farnley Hall


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 179 × 254 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXXXIV 10

Catalogue entry

This North Yorkshire moorland subject has previously been identified as Kex Gill,1 but elsewhere in the present catalogue David Hill has amended this to nearby Hall Beck Gill; see the entries for a drawing in the Large Farnley sketchbook of about 1816 (Tate D09023; Turner Bequest CXXVIII 7), and a separate sheet of about the same date showing a picnic at the site (Tate D12099; Turner Bequest CLIV A). While Kex Beck rises on Kex Gill Moor and flows west to the River Wharfe near Bolton Abbey, Hall Beck originates close by but flows in the opposite direction to the River Washburn at Blubberhouses; the outcrop identified by Hill as the Dovestone is situated on the north side of the valley below the old Skipton to Harrogate road, overlooking Hall Beck and the road of about 1827 which follows its course.2
The same outcrop is shown on folios 34 recto and 35 recto (D09798, D09804; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 9, 14); see under the latter for a related watercolour study. There is another watercolour study of a different view of Hall Beck Gill (Tate D17179; Turner Bequest CXCVI O), based on the Large Farnley sketch mentioned above (D09023). Among other views in the vicinity, a double-page drawing in the Yorkshire 6 sketchbook (Tate D11900–D11901; Turner Bequest CXLIX 298a–299) also shows the Dovestone, perhaps on the same occasion, as noted by David Hill under another view (Tate D11897; Turner Bequest CXLIX 296), the last of a sequence working back from Tate D11908 (Turner Bequest CXLIX 302a). Turner may have visited the site on various occasions with picnic or shooting parties in the area; see also Hill’s entries for the sequence in the Large Farnley sketchbook (Tate D09023–D09026; Turner Bequest CXXVIII 7, 8, 9, 10), and compare also the drawings in the present book on folios 32 recto, 33 recto and 55 recto (D09882, D09791, D09850; Turner Bequest 78, 2, 53).
For other views at and around Farnley Hall, about five miles to the south-east, and nearby Yorkshire properties belonging to Walter Fawkes see under folio 1 verso (D09790).

Matthew Imms
July 2014

Herbert E. Wroot, ‘Turner in Yorkshire: His Wanderings and Sketches’, reprinted from the Thoresby Society’s Miscellanea, Leeds [1924], caption to reproduction opposite p.231; see also David Hill, Stanley Warburton, Mary Tussey and others, Turner in Yorkshire, exhibition catalogue, York City Art Gallery 1980, p.38 under no.46.
See Gordon Hatton, ‘SE1455: Old road across the moor’, Geograph, accessed 22 November 2011,; under Tate D09023 and D12099, Hill notes that the Dovestone appears as such on the first edition Ordnance Survey map of 1851.

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