Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • A View in the Castle at Ludlow
  • Ludlow Castle
Pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour with gum
  • image width 298mm,
  • image length 484mm
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “F.Towne. delt 1777 No.45”
  • sheet, verso
  • “A View in the Castle at Ludlow, drawn by Francis Towne, 1777 [“1777” scratched out and reinserted], No.45”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Tate catalogue (image)


Bequeathed by the artist in 1816 to James White of Exeter (1744–1825), on whose death it passed to Towne’s residuary legatee John Herman Merivale (1779–1844) and his successors. Merivale’s granddaughter Emily Harriet Buckingham (1853–1923) inherited the drawing in 1915 and on 24 May 1921 she sold it to Agnew’s (no.9959) for £15 for onward sale the same day (for £350 with FT072, FT074, FT086, FT111, FT237, FT260, FT366, FT469, FT504) to the present owner, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (Inv 90'21).

Associated People & Organisations

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, 24 May 1921, GBP 350, Inv 90'21
Acquired with FT072, FT074, FT086, FT111, FT237, FT260, FT366, FT469, FT504
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 24 May 1921, GBP 15, no.9959
Emily Harriet Buckingham (1853 - 1923), 1915
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
Exhibition of Original Drawings at the Gallery, No.20 Lower Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, 20 Lower Brook Street, 1805, no. 39 or 40 as 'Ludlow Castle'
Francis Towne, Tate Gallery; Leeds City Art Gallery, 24 June 1997 - 4 January 1998, no. 10
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 134



Ludlow was a market town and parliamentary borough twenty-five miles south-east of Shrewsbury particularly celebrated for the ruins of its castle, built by Roger de Montgomery. Under Henry VIII it was made the seat of the Lords President of the Marches of Wales, and it was here that John Milton’s Comus, written by Milton for the entertainment of the family of the Earl of Bridgwater, was performed (see FT115). Other views of Ludlow Castle are at FT109, FT115, and FT116.

by Richard Stephens

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