JMW Turner's Twickenham house 'saved' by Lottery grant

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Twickenham Villa of JMW Turner RA engraved by WB Cooke c1814, with later colouring, from an original watercolour by William HavellImage source, Heritage Lottery Fund
Image caption,
The house was depicted in this engraving by WB Cooke shortly after it was built

A house designed and owned by JMW Turner is to be restored and opened to the public after receiving a £1.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Turner built Sandycombe Lodge in Twickenham, London, in 1813, and used it as his country retreat until 1826.

But it has fallen into a poor state of repair in recent years.

It has only been open to the public for one afternoon a month, but will be open for 46 weeks of the year from 2016, once restoration work is finished.

Turner, one of Britain's greatest painters, designed the building as a retreat from his central London studio and as a permanent home for his elderly father, a retired wigmaker and barber, who looked after the house and garden.

Media caption,

The cost of restoring and conserving Turner's house in Twickenham has been put at £2m.

When he visited, the artist spent his days sketching, fishing, and entertaining. It is not known for certain whether he painted there, but it is thought that he worked in watercolours there.

Wings of the house that were added in Victorian times will be removed and damp, damage from tree roots and other problems will be fixed. Part of the basement ceiling collapsed after heavy rain in 2012.

It was added to English Heritage's Heritage at Risk register in 2013.

The house is owned by the Turner House Trust, which is hoping to raise a total of £2m.

Blondel Cluff, chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund's London committee, said: "Interest in Turner has never been greater, as reflected in the success of the recent biographical film and the current exhibition of his work at Tate Britain.

"The restoration of this modest, classical property introduces us to Turner, the architect, adding a whole new dimension to our understanding of this great artist.

"Sandycombe allows us all to literally walk inside the work of one of the world's leading artists - a truly unique experience."

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