The style and subject matter of this painting suggest that it was executed in the early 1820s, when Constable was based in Hampstead. Constable had moved permanently to London on his marriage to Maria Bicknell in 1816, and later moved to Hampstead in 1819 (the year of his election as an Associate Academician), on account of his wife's failing health. On both occasions, Constable seized the opportunity to tackle fresh subjects, drawing and sketching assiduously in and around London. The present painting is particularly unusual, since it is neither a pure landscape, nor an identifiable topographical view, with autobiographical significance, but instead evokes the tradition of the picturesque. It is interesting to compare this picture to an earlier sketch in oil of The Old Mill Shed, Dedham, which, although identifiable, displays the same tendency towards the picturesque (private collection; G. Reynolds, The Early Paintings and Drawings of John Constable, New Haven and London, 1996, I, p. 234, no. 16.110, II, pl. 1368). Constable's handling became increasingly wide-ranging during this time - from closely observed to exuberantly loose. The present work is taken to quite a high degree of finish and detail, which can also be seen in his beautifully observed sketches of the Hampstead sandbanks from this period (see G. Reynolds, The Later Paintings and Drawings of John Constable, New Haven and London, 1984, I, pp. 85-6, nos. 21.66-68, II, pls. 268-70).