Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Bickham Farm, near Withycombe
Pencil, pen and grey and black inks, grey wash
  • image width 247mm,
  • image length 306mm
irregular shape, on laid paper with watermark with shield, fleur de lis and "GR"
  • sheet, verso
  • “Bickham Nr. Wythcombe / and Bryndon Hill to the right in the distance / Croidon Hill sun in the middle / Teambarscombe 9 O Clock Octr. 1st 1785 / Near Honicote Somersetshire F.Towne No1
  • in grey ink over pencil
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Witt Library (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 granddaughters Maria Sophia Merivale (1853–1928) and Judith Ann Merivale (1860–1945), both of Oxford, inherited the drawing in May 1915 (BP195). In 1930 Judith Merivale sold it to Norman Darnton Lupton (1875–1953) of Hyde Crook, Dorchester, Dorset, for £27 10s. with five other drawings (FT320, FT371, FT375, FT544, FT597). Agnes Lupton (1874–1950) and Norman Lupton bequeathed it to the present owner, Leeds City Art Gallery (13.206/53).

Associated People & Organisations

Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds, 1953, 13.206/53
Agnes Lupton (1874 - 1950), Dorchester, 1930, GBP 27 10s
Acquired with FT320, FT371, FT375, FT544 and FT597
Norman Darnton Lupton (1875 - 1953), Dorchester, 1930, GBP 27 10s
Acquired with FT320, FT371, FT375, FT544 and FT597
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP195
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP195
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds Art Calendar, No. 26: Leeds, 1954, p. 11
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 131


This is a view of the River Anvill taken from the Wootton Courtenay side, perhaps from around Well Farm. Bickham is the farmhouse on the far right and Timberscombe is the village in the valley. Beyond rises Croydon hill and behind that is the ridge of the Brendon Hills in the distance.1

Oppé’s note describing three drawings (FT436, FT438, and FT440), including the present one, reads: “1785. Porlock etc. might be pre Italy. Pen & wash 3 Aclands are similar (8gns on each) Tones all over in blue grey. not dated. Pretty, comprehensive, in effect.”2

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 This identification was provided by Brian Pearce, Research and Information Officer of Exmoor National Park Authority, in 2005.
  2. 2 Paul Oppé records: notes, ca. 1915.

Revisions & Feedback

The website will be updated from time to time and, when changes are made, a PDF of the previous version of each page will be archived here for consultation and citation.

Please help us to improve this catalogue

If you have information, a correction or any other suggestions to improve this catalogue, please contact us.