JMW Turner's country retreat to undergo £2m restoration

Sandycombe Lodge in Twickenham is set to re-open in 2017

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The Independent Culture

A bid to raise £2 million to restore JMW Turner’s neglected Grade II country home has been boosted by £135,000 of lottery money.

Built in 1813, Sandycombe Lodge in Twickenham is listed as one of English Heritage’s buildings at risk due to large amounts of damp and a collapsed basement ceiling.

Plans are underway to restore the holiday home to how it looked when Turner lived there.

The £135,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable detailed excavation work on the house, such as taking paint scrapes from the walls to match the paint colours chosen by Turner.

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Challenge Fund for Historic Buildings at Risk has also donated £140,000.

The Turner House Trust hopes to raise £2 million in total to fund the project.

Catherine Parry-Wingfield, chairman of Turner’s House Trust, said: “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, and in particular, to learn more about the original appearance of the interior of Sandycombe Lodge.”

Sandycombe Lodge, which was designed by Turner, was used by the painter as a retreat away from his Harley Street studio. His retired barber and wigmaker father William resided there permanently.

As part of the restoration, which is due to finish in 2017, the interiors will be designed to match Turner’s own as closely as possible. A collection of his original prints will also be on show.

Turner owned the house for 13 years from 1813 to 1826. It is unknown whether he used Sandycombe Lodge as a studio, but it is thought he did watercolour work while there.

The painter, who is well-known for his marine landscapes, would have been able to see the Thames from the windows of the top bedroom. He also kept model ships at the house which he is thought to have made preparatory sketches from.

His preliminary sketches for the design of the house can be seen at Tate Britain.