The South Prospect of Bridgnorth, in the County of Salop

  • About the work

    This distant view or ‘prospect’ of Bridgnorth in Shropshire was drawn and published in the early 18th century by brothers Samuel and Nathaniel Buck. In the left foreground a shepherd with his dog stands by the side of a seated woman. The River Severn is seen passing beneath the bridge, which supports a gate and several small buildings. A ruined tower, virtually all that survives of Bridgnorth Castle, leans at a precariously acute angle.

    In 1720 the Buck brothers published proposals for engraved views or ‘prospects’ of two panoramic drawings of English towns: Leeds and Wakefield. The success of the prints led to a further eight town prospects. In 1728 they extended the project to record ‘prospects’ of every remaining principal town of England and Wales. Each was drawn at a rural spot some distance from the town itself and, when possible, from a height. The prospects were published with a numbered key and descriptive text below the image.

  • About the artist
    Brothers Samuel and Nathaniel Buck were the leading British topographical draughtsmen and engravers of the 18th century. They produced several hundred drawings and engravings, including 87 ‘Prospects’ of England and Wales. The engravings are important visual records of the appearance of British urban landscapes prior to the Industrial Revolution. In many cases, the places depicted have since disappeared or changed beyond recognition. Their dedication in recording almost every corner of the country has left modern viewers with an invaluable record of Britain’s past. As demand for their prints fell away, Nathaniel took over a furniture business, while Samuel tried several professions, including teaching draughtsmanship and cleaning pictures.
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  • Details
    Title
    The South Prospect of Bridgnorth, in the County of Salop
    Date
    1732
    Medium
    Coloured engraving
    Acquisition
    Purchased from the Parker Gallery, August 1965
    GAC number
    7154