This is an essentially imaginary view, based on Turner’s impressions of Kirkstall when he visited it in 1797; see the drawings in the North of England sketchbook (Tate D00915–D00922; Turner Bequest XXXIV 10–16) and the Tweed and Lakes sketchbook (Tate D01005, D01006, D01083; Turner Bequest XXXV 2, 3, 81). The viewpoint is in the nave, looking towards the crossing and choir with the north transept to the left. Finberg assigned this study to the first decade of the nineteenth century, and Turner scholar David Hill tentatively dates it to about 1800.
Although it may have been executed fairly soon after Turner’s visit to Kirkstall in 1797, it incorporates technical experiments typical of his work around 1799, notably the superimposition of washes of soft colour, especially blue and pink, partially reserved to allow under-layers to show through, as a foundation for the design. Compare studies made after the Welsh tour of 1798 (Tate D01115, D04166; Turner Bequest XXXVI U, LXX O). A colour study of Bolton Abbey, treated similarly, is Tate D08264 (Turner Bequest CXXI I). See also Tate D04169 (Turner Bequest LXX R), in which the Abbey is made the setting for a Nativity scene.
Blank; faint pencil lines and blue paint trials; inscribed in a later hand ‘17’; not stamped.