This watercolour was one of the first made by Turner for the ambitious print series 'Picturesque Views in England and Wales'. It ended in 1838 when the project ran out of money. Ninety-six of the intended 120 views had been published.
This series of topographical views reveals a lot about daily life in Britain at the time. The images illustrate the changes in the regions during the industrial revolution. In this view the resting canal and barge workers in the foreground are contrasted with the farm hands working in the fields behind them.