With the page turned horizontally, Turner shows the castle on a high bank above a bend of the River Coquet. The village and its church, dedicated to St Lawrence, are seen beyond. In the foreground are women carrying baskets on their heads, possibly containing salmon, for which Warkworth was famous. A finished watercolour of this subject was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1799 with the title Warkworth Castle, Northumberland – thunder storm approaching at sun-set (Victoria and Albert Museum, London).1 The salmon fishing motif is elaborated here, with salmon netters in a boat on the river.
Hill has suggested that the thunderstorm is a memory of the one that hypothetically drove Turner into the castle keep to make the interior study on folio 41 recto (D00946; Turner Bequest XXXIV 39). The watercolour was mezzotinted in 1826 for the Rivers of England (Tate impression: T04812),2 an unusual case of a subject borrowed from a much earlier tour, rather than drawn specifically for the Rivers project.
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.