Joseph Mallord William Turner

The River Derwent from Lord Egremont’s Room, Cockermouth Castle


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 116 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CX 22

Catalogue entry

For Cockermouth Castle and Turner’s views in this sketchbook see Introduction. This view is taken from a first floor window in the ‘Wyndham Rooms’, built 1802–5 inside the north curtain wall of the castle. It is not certain which of the upstairs rooms was Lord Egremont’s, but the outlook from the north-facing bedrooms corresponds closely to Turner’s drawing. The river is not the Cocker, as stated by Finberg, but the Derwent, with a dam and stepping stones near the bend in the river and the ‘Lands’ on the right bank. This is the best side for fishing, as Turner will have known as a keen fisherman himself. Indeed he shows a jetty and a figure immediately below the castle mound. A sketch in the Lowther sketchbook (Tate D07941; Turner Bequest CXIII 56) inscribed ‘Lord Egremont’ shows a man fishing from probably the same jetty, looking back towards the castle mound.

David Blayney Brown
August 2009

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