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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Norman Staircase at the North Hall, Canterbury c.1830

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 20 Verso:
The Norman Staircase at the North Hall, Canterbury c.1830
Turner Bequest CCCLXIII 19a
Pencil on white wove paper, 76 x 98 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This elaborate external staircase stands within the precincts of The King’s School, off The Borough and within sight of the north side of Canterbury Cathedral across the Green Court. It was constructed to give access to the North Hall, built after about 1153 as accommodation for lay visitors; the hall was much modified both before and after Turner’s time.1
The view, inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, is restricted to the south side of the staircase porch, with a hint of its pitched roof, and the massive arches of the three-bay arcade running at right-angles to it under the adjoining hall. Below is a detail of the zigzag moulding of the staircase’s entrance bay and the first of the five narrow arches flanking the stairs to its left.
For other views of Canterbury in this sketchbook, see under folio 3 recto (D35761)

Matthew Imms
September 2016

See John Newman, North East and East Kent, The Buildings of England, 2nd ed., Harmondsworth 1976, p.225.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The Norman Staircase at the North Hall, Canterbury c.1830 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2016, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-the-norman-staircase-at-the-north-hall-canterbury-r1183758, accessed 03 December 2021.