Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • The Cascade at Rydal Hall
  • The Cascade, looking from the window of the Summer-house at Rydal
Pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour with gum
  • image width 236mm,
  • image length 157mm
mounted by the artist
  • sheet, recto, lower left
  • “[“No 20 / F.Towne” partly whitened out] delt. / [“1786” partly whitened out]”, and just below the bridge, “A” in pencil
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “A View of / The Cascade at Rydal-hall the / seat of Sir Michael le Fleming / seen through the window of the / summer-house / Drawn on the Spot / by / Francis Towne. / London”
  • with the words “Leicester Square” erased, perhaps appearing before the word “London”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Museum records (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 7 November 1924 she sold it to Agnew’s (no.10588), where it was bought on 17 November 1924 by R. F. Goldschmidt of Manchester (d. ca. 1941) for £28. It was bought in 1941 by Jock Ring of Square Cottage, Hazel Lane, Richmond, and bequeathed in 1954 by Dr Grete Ring to the current owner, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (WA1954.70.216).

Associated People & Organisations

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 1954, WA1954.70.216
Grete Ring (1887 - 1952), London
Jock Ring, London, 1941
R. F. Goldschmidt ( - ca. 1941), Manchester, 17 November 1924, GBP 28
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 7 November 1924, no.10588
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. 71 as 'The Cascade, looking from the window of the Summer-house at Rydal'
David Blaney Brown, Ashmolean Museum Catalogue of Drawings Vol 4: Earlier English Drawings, Clarendon: Oxford, 1982, p. 629
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, pp. 95, 130
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 122


This is a view of the lower falls at Rydal Hall from the purpose-built viewing hut (as is Joseph Farington’s 1781 drawing, now at the Wordsworth Trust. Towne sketched another part of the falls at FT478.

Jock Ring wrote to Paul Oppé on 7 July 1944 to state that his Towne drawing had the words “Leicester Square, London” erased from its mount and also that the date had been erased.1

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Paul Oppé records.

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