In August 1806 Constable spent a week or so with his maternal aunt's family, the Gubbinses, at Epsom. During this time he executed a number of drawings outdoors. Watercolours dated 4th, 6th and 10th are recorded, and another simply inscribed 'August'. Some pencil drawings were also made. The group of four watercolours to which the present drawing belongs, falls into pairs, each pair being quite different to the other (see I. Fleming-Williams, op.cit., p. 73, pl. 3 and figs 72, 73, and 74). As Ian Fleming-Williams has commented regarding the larger pair, it was at this stage in his career when Constable was 'discovering the nature of his own personal vision' that the influence of Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) is sometimes to be seen most clearly. The two larger views of Espom are plainly experiments in Girtin's 'distinctive manner'.
Constable's mother's younger sister, Mary Watts (1751-1827) married circa 1770, James Gubbins (1745-1814), a builder and surveyor who retired to Epsom, Surrey, where they lived at a house named Hylands.
Of the Gubbins children, four lived to maturity, James (1778-1815), Richard (1781-1836), Ann Elizabeth (d. 1852) and Jane (d. 1852). Both brothers became army officers; James became a Captain and was killed at the Battle of Waterloo and Richard became a Colonel.
Contable's first recorded visit to his cousins in Epsom was in 1796. The sketchbook, still intact (G. Reynolds, op.cit, no. 06.86) was used on that visit. The visit led to commissions for portraits of the Gubbins family, nos. 06.107 and 06.108, and also to Constable's group portrait of the Barker children (see G. Reynolds, op.cit, no. 09.84.)