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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Worcester ?from the North, and from the North-East; Peveril Castle and Castleton ?1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 7 Verso:
Worcester ?from the North, and from the North-East; Peveril Castle and Castleton ?1831
Turner Bequest CCXXXIX 7a
Pencil on white wove paper, 191 x 114 mm
Partial watermark ‘R Ba | 18’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[?Halstor]’ centre right and ‘Peak [?P]’ towards bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
There are three sketches here, made with the page turned vertically, divided by horizontal pencil lines. Ian Warrell has suggested the upper two show respectively a ‘village in a hollow (?near Worcester)’ and a general view of Worcester;1 both appear to show the Malvern Hills on the horizon to the south-west. The upper view apparently includes the tower of Worcester Cathedral on the left and the spire of St Andrew’s Church towards the right, with the River Severn running south in the centre, but the viewpoint is uncertain. The middle drawing shows the centre of Worcester from the north-east, with an array of church spires and towers; compare the study on folio 10 verso (D22168), from the reverse direction. There is a watercolour View of Worcester, from the NE by William Cowen (1791–1864) which shows these features in the same alignment with the Malverns from an elevated but indeterminate rural viewpoint (British Museum, London), which later development makes difficult to ascertain. The significance of Turner’s inscription at the bottom right of this view, apparently ‘Halstor’ or ‘Halston’, is unclear. For other views of Worcester, see under folio 2 verso (D22154).
The subject of the bottom sketch was identified tentatively as ‘Peveril Castle?’ by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) and the watercolour and Turner scholar C.F. Bell (died 1966) in undated manuscript notes in copies of Finberg’s 1909 Inventory.2 It does indeed show Peveril Castle to the south of Castleton, with Cave Dale on the left and the gorge leading to Peak Cavern on the right. The tower of St Edmund’s Church is below the castle. For other views of the castle, village and cave, see under folio 1 verso (D22152).

Matthew Imms
April 2014

Ian Warrell, notes from 1993 and later in Tate catalogue files.
A.J. Finberg, undated MS notes in a copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.II, p.733; C.F. Bell, undated MS notes in another copy at the same location, vol.II, p.733.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Worcester ?from the North, and from the North-East; Peveril Castle and Castleton ?1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 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-worcester-from-the-north-and-from-the-north-east-peveril-r1148808, accessed 18 September 2021.