James Sargant Singer, 'The Triangular Tower, Shooter's Hill', in E. W. Brayley, Views in Suffolk, Norfolk, and Northamptonshire; illustrative of the works of Robert Bloomfield, 1806, Private Collection.

© Jonathan Taylor.

 

1806 brought with it the first close-up image of Severndroog. Drawn and engraved by James Sargant Singer, this picture was produced as an illustration for a travel guide that introduced locations described in the poems of the popular working-class poet Robert Bloomfield. Bloomfield had published a poem called ‘Shooter’s Hill’, in which he described Severndroog as the ‘far-seen monumental tower’, earlier the same year. Bloomfield’s response to the castle was mixed. He marveled at its extraordinary views and ‘The comforts of its broad cool shade’ and ‘deep'ning groves’, but also criticised the ‘Vanity’ that had led Lady James to spend a fortune on her husband’s monument. Singer’s engraving, with its depiction of a couple wandering towards the castle from the direction of Greenwich and Eltham, seems to invite readers of the travel guide to visit Severndroog and judge its qualities for themselves. 

 

James Sargant Singer, The Triangular Tower, Shooter's Hill ​(1806)