This fragmented scene describes Folkestone as viewed by Turner with his back to the sea.1 Towards top left, on the crest of the cliff, the parish church of St Mary and St Eanswythe overlooks the harbour, and other small dwellings litter the horizon. For a list of further studies of Folkestone and this church in the present sketchbook, see folio 17 verso (D17235). A row of fishing boats is lined up on the left in the foreground, and fishermen stand in front of them in their oilskin coats and hats.
Towards top right Turner makes two smaller drawings. The topmost of these outlines the jagged shape of receding cliffs, possibly those to the west of Folkestone. Underneath and further to the right of this is another sketch. Similar in scale, it describes another cluster of coastal buildings. Moving down the page, Turner’s renderings become more difficult to identify, but presumably elaborate on yet more details observed of Folkestone from a similar perspective as those discussed above.
For an overview of Folkestone in Turner’s work more generally, refer to the sketchbook Introduction.
Finberg 1909, I, p.605.