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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Newark Castle 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 77 Recto:
Newark Castle 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXVII 79
Pencil on off-white wove writing paper, 185 x 113 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘mil’ centre right
Inscribed in blue ink by John Ruskin ‘79’ top left running vertically and ‘271’ top right running vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLXVII – 79’ top right running vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner visited Newark Castle, between Philiphaugh and Broadmeadows on the River Yarrow, on 7 August 1831 with Robert Cadell. Approaching the castle from the south-east near Bowhill House (folio 79 verso; D26071; CCLXVII 81a), Turner, as Cadell recorded in his diary, ‘took sketches of Newark Castle in all directions’1 (folios 78–79 verso and 85 verso–86; D26068–D26071 and D26083–D26084; CCLXVII 80–81a, 87a–88), before walking on along the Yarrow towards Broadmeadows, where Sir Walter Scott’s boy was waiting with a phaeton to drive the artist and publisher home via Philiphaugh and Selkirk.
As they passed the castle on the road to the north, Turner made further sketches in the current sketchbook (folios 76 verso to 77 verso; Tate D26065–D26067; CCLXVII 78a–79a), and the Berwick sketchbook (Tate D25668–D25670; Turner Bequest CCLXV 16–17). On his return to the area in 1834 he sketched Newark Castle in the Edinburgh sketchbook: Tate D26164–D26169 (Turner Bequest CCLXVIII 36–38a)
The present page contains three sketches made from the phaeton including the one that Turner used as the basis of a watercolour design to illustrate volume 6 of Scott’s Poetical Works: Newark Castle circa 1832 (private collection).2 This is the middle sketch and is a view from the north looking across the River Yarrow from the road between Broadmeadows and Philiphaugh. The castle stands on a bank on a bend in the river. To its left a path leads down to Newark Mill, which Turner has noted with the inscription ‘mil’. This is seen more clearly on folio 78 verso (D26069; CCLXVII 80a). Behind the castle is the outline of Parnaissie Hill.
The sketch at the top of the page shows a similar view but from a little further east. At the bottom of the page is a view of the north banks of the Yarrow with Parnassie Hill. Turner also drew a similar view in the Edinburgh sketchbook in 1834: Tate D26166 (Turner Bequest CCLXVIII 37a).

Thomas Ardill
September 2009

Robert Cadell, ‘Abbotsford Diary’, 7 August 1831, folio 107 verso, National Library of Scotland, MS Acc.5188, Box 1; quoted in Finley 1972, p.381.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.428 no.1081.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Newark Castle 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-newark-castle-r1134434, accessed 25 May 2022.