JMW Turner's Twickenham home to be restored with Heritage Lottery Fund backing

By Sarah Jackson | 27 August 2013

A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled the trustees of Turner’s House Trust to begin the first stage of restoring the home of England’s most celebrated landscape artist.

W B Cooke, Sandycombe Lodge, the Twickenham Villa of J M W Turner (c1814, with later colouring).
W B Cooke, Sandycombe Lodge, the Twickenham Villa of JMW Turner (circa 1814, with later colouring)© Turner's House Trust
Sandycombe Lodge in Twickenham was designed by Turner to be a country house for the artist and his elderly father. The house provided Turner with a base for sketching the Thames, which could be seen from the upper floors, and inspired many of his paintings.

The Regency villa was completed in 1813 and is now a Grade II listed building. It is currently seriously threatened by damp and years of neglect, to the extent that it is now on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk Register.

Extreme recent weather patterns  have caused further damage, necessitating immediate and urgent action.

The Turner’s House Trust is planning a £2 million Bicentennial Appeal this autumn to save the house and restore it to Turner’s original design.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has offered a grant of £134,900 for the development phase of the work. Match funding will come from the Architectural Heritage Fund Project Development Grant and the Trust’s own resources. Hundreds of hours of volunteer time will also be needed to begin the project.

“With this generous support we shall now be in a position to seek the expertise of specialist conservationists to assess the extent and methodology of the restoration work required," said Catherine Parry-Wingfield, the chairman of the Trust.

"In particular, we will learn more about the original appearance of the interior of Sandycombe Lodge. Turner’s own choice of wall colours may emerge from paint analysis, which would be extremely valuable.”

English Heritage has endorsed the decision to return Sandycombe Lodge to Turner’s own design. The house will be furnished simply and sparingly with early 19th century furniture, following records from Turner’s visitors.

Future plans include the restoration of the Trusts art collection ready for display, as well as the development of the garden, education and outreach programmes and partnerships with organisations nationally and locally.

More pictures:

Sandycombe Villa, Twickenham, in the snow.
Sandycombe Villa in the snow© Turner's House Trust

Follow Sarah Jackson on Twitter @SazzyJackson.

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It's about time they did something with this - Turner is our greatest painter and his house should be preserved for the nation.
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