Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Ivy Bridge
  • Ivy Bridge, Devon
Pencil, pen and grey ink, brown and grey washes
  • image width 168mm,
  • image width 254mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “Ivy Bridge, Devon”
  • and possibly dated 5 September
Part of
  • 1810 Sketchbook
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Fine Art Society records; Paul Oppé notes; Witt Library (image)


Bequeathed by Francis Towne 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 within a sketchbook containing FT689 to FT714, much or all of which by 1963 was owned by Mr and Mrs Sutton of New Zealand. On 19 June 1963 they sold seventeen drawings from the book, including this one, to the Fine Art Society (no.7772) for £3,750. In May 1964 this drawing (no.7772/15) was sold to Leonard Duke (1889–1971; no.D.4269) for £140. In 1971 the drawing was on sale again at the Manning Gallery, whereafter it is untraced.

Associated People & Organisations

Manning Gallery, 1971
Leonard Duke (1889 - 1971), May 1964, GBP 140, no.D.4269
The Fine Art Society, London, London, 19 June 1963, GBP 3750, no.7772/15
[?] Mr & Mrs Sutton, New Zealand, June 1963
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915
The drawing was inherited within a sketchbook containing FT689 to FT714.
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915
The drawing was inherited within a sketchbook containing FT689 to FT714.
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
Early English Water-colours and Drawings, Fine Art Society, 1964, no. 94 as 'Ivy Bridge, Devon'
36th Exhibition of English Watercolours and Drawings, Manning Gallery, 1971, no. 22


Ivy Bridge is just beyond the southern tip of Dartmoor on the road from Exeter to Plymouth.1 Towne drew it as early as 1775 (FT052). Paul Oppé’s note of the sketchbook suggests that this drawing was inscribed “5th Sept”, but Duke did not note any such inscription in his catalogue.2

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Donn 1965, pl.10a.
  2. 2 British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings.

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