J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Gledhow Hall, Leeds 1816

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 3 Recto:
Gledhow Hall, Leeds 1816
Turner Bequest CXXXIV 15
Pencil on white wove paper with gilt edges, 179 x 254 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘open B[...] over windows | r[...]ing’ above plan at top centre
Inscribed in pencil ‘CXXXIV – 15’ bottom centre
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CXXXIV – 15’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Gledhow Hall still stands between Gledhow Lane and Gledhow Wood Close, in a wooded valley between Chapell Allerton and Roundhay on the north side of Leeds, three miles north of the centre of the city;1 it is now divided into apartments and largely surrounded by flats and garages.2 At the time of Turner’s visit it was the home of John Dixon, a successful local merchant,3 whose sister was the sister-in-law of Turner’s friend and major Yorkshire patron, Walter Fawkes4 (see the Introductions to this sketchbook and the overall grouping). David Hill has suggested that Turner may have stayed at the house while drawing in the area.5
Dixon commissioned a watercolour of the house.6 Eric Shanes has noted the present sketch in connection with the finished composition, Gledhow, of 1816 (private collection),7 which was engraved and published in 1820 with a supplement to Dr Thomas Dunham Whitaker’s 1816 history of Leeds, Loidis and Elmete8 (again, see the Introductions to this sketchbook and the overall grouping); it had been listed as plate 9 of the main 1816 volume.9 Of the children gathering sticks which were introduced into the design, Hill has observed that ‘the Dixons presumably approved of their inclusion since they paid for the publication of the plate’10 although such foraging for food and fuel was punished by many landowners through the courts.11
Turner’s viewpoint here is east-north-east across the valley from the Chapell Allerton side. The trees in the sketch are continued just a little to the left on folio 2 verso opposite (D40881; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 13 verso). The direct source for the watercolour was the drawing on folios 3 verso–4 recto (D09806, D09857; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 15v–58). David Hill suggests the current view is the first sketch in the sequence;12 there is a further study on folios 4 verso–5 recto (D09858, D09801; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 58a, 12), the sketches having been brought together when the sketchbook was rebound, despite their widely varying numbering (see the sketchbook’s Introduction).
The hose is also seen in the far distance to the north in Turner’s panoramic drawing of Leeds from Beeston Hill on folio 48 verso (D09883; Turner Bequest CXXXIV 79).
See Hill 2008, p.97; for Hill’s photographs of the house see pls.86 and 90.
Ibid., p.101.
Ibid, p.98.
Ibid., pp.98–9.
Ibid., p.99.
See Shanes 1990, p.77, and Hill 2008, p.99.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.362 no.543, reproduced.
See Shanes 1990, pp.77 under no.53, 283 note 44; see also Hill 2008, p.99.
See William Upcott, A Bibliographical Account of the Principal Works Relating to English Topography, London 1818, vol.III, pp.1387, 1390, where the plate is ‘announced as nearly ready for publication’.
Hill 2008, p.101.
See ibid., p.103.
See ibid., p.99.
Technical notes:
The page has darkened all over from prolonged display, except for a narrow border protected by the mount.

Matthew Imms
July 2014

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Gledhow Hall, Leeds 1816 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 2014, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, September 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-gledhow-hall-leeds-r1147349, accessed 26 July 2021.