Sandycombe Lodge to be reopened to the public following £1.4m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund
A house designed and owned by JMW Turner will be reopened to the public thanks to a £1.4 million rescue grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Sandycombe Lodge, on Sandycoombe Road, Twickenham, was designed and built by the artist in 1813 as a country retreat for him and his father. Turner spent time there up until 1826, but it has since fallen into disrepair.
The Grade II listed lodge is currently only open to visitors on one afternoon per month, but following its restoration – scheduled to take place in 2016 – it will be open for 46 weeks per year.
On his visits to the house, Turner would spend his days fishing and sketching, while it was also used as a permanent home by his elderly father, a retired wigmaker who looked after the house and garden.
Turner’s House Trust will remove later additions to the house, returning it to Turner’s original design and providing period furnishing and restored artworks. Visitors will be able to learn about Turner’s personal life, his training as an architect and his career as a painter.
Those visitors with restricted mobility will also benefit from a a 3D virtual tour of the first floor and basement of the property on their mobile devices.
Interest in Turner has reached fever pitch in recent months with the release of a critically-acclaimed biopic starring Timothy Spall in 2014 plus an exhibition of the artist’s work at Tate Britain.
Blondel Cluff, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund London Committee, said:
“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.”
Fan’s of Turner’s design skills will be interested to know that he was good friends with architect Sir John Soane, and Sandycombe Lodge has many features in common with Soane’s own London house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields and with Soane’s country house Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing.
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