Castle of Elan Stalker
Following his sketching trips with Paul Sandby in the early 1750s, Clerk kept up his interest in Scottish landscapes, often focusing on specific historical buildings. His early interest in the sea, ships and all things naval led him to make a speciality of coastal scenes. Historic waterside fortresses, once part of Scotland’s main a defensive wall against foreign and internal lawlessness and an important component of travel by sea, often feature in his etchings. Many of these, like Castle Stalker in the west, or Blackness Castle on the east coast, had been refortified as Hanoverian garrisons earlier in the century and were first drawn by Clerk’s former tutor Sandby.