Joseph Mallord William Turner

York from the South-East


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 125 x 200 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXLVI 4

Catalogue entry

This is the right half of a double-page spread, continued to right from folio 3 verso (D11376) opposite, recording the view from the windmill on Lamel Hill, looking north-west across the city of York.
Lamel Hill is about 500 metres south-east of Walmgate bar, just south of the Heslington Road. It is an antique earthwork mound that served as an artillery emplacement during the Civil War, and after that as the site of a windmill. From the evidence of Turner’s sketch, the windmill was a substantial late seventeenth-century postmill, and it appears to have remained in use until about 1830.1 The panorama pans from left to right to include York Castle and the Debtor’s prison with its lantern; Clifford’s Tower; the spire of All Saints, North Street; the spire of St Mary’s, Castlegate; the tower of All Saints, Pavement; the small tower of St Denys, Walmgate, with behind it the larger tower of St Croix, Pavement (destroyed 1883); then the centre of the view is dominated by the south-east aspect of York Minster with below it Walmgate Bar on the city walls and the tower of St Margaret Walmgate behind; and finally the tower and church of St Lawrence.2 The view closes at the right with the looming form of Lamel Hill windmill, with the Hambledon Hills in the distance, and below, somewhere in the Layerthorpe area, another postmill. Turner’s note of the sun in the north-west indicates evening.
For further notes on Lamel Hill see folio 3 verso (D11376).
It is not marked on the first edition (1856) Ordnance Survey.
Only the tower of the medieval church of St Lawrence survives, in the grounds of its Victorian successor.

David Hill
January 2009

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like