Saving Sandycombe: JMW Turner's Twickenham Retreat
Turner's House Trust has been dedicated to running an energetic fundraising campaign to save and restore Sandycombe Lodge, the once-rural retreat designed and built by painter JMW Turner. Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Architectural Heritage Fund and many other generous supporters, we are now only £125,000 away from our fundraising target of £2.4m.
A loan offer from the Architectural Heritage Fund has enabled us to appoint contractors and begin the urgent restoration works in March 2016, and the house is scheduled to reopen to the public in 2017. However, until all the money needed has been raised our work is not done, as we do not want to take up a loan we have no funds to repay. We hope to raise £25,000 from this crowdfunding campaign towards our final target.
With your support the restoration work to save Sandycombe Lodge will soon be fully funded.
About Sandycombe Lodge
Sandycombe Lodge is a little-known treasure: in 1813 England's foremost painter JMW Turner became his own architect and built a picturesque small country villa close to the Thames. Turner entertained his friends at the house, including the architect Sir John Soane, whose influence is visible throughout the building.
Sandycombe Lodge was left to Turner's House Trust on the death of its then owner Professor Harold Livermore in 2010. The aim of the Trust is "to advance education in the arts for the benefit of the public by the preservation and conservation of Sandycombe Lodge…. as a monument to the artist Joseph Mallord William Turner."
It is now 200 years since Turner built Sandycombe Lodge, and the house, listed Grade II*, is still almost totally intact with some unsightly later additions. However it is threatened by damp and decay, is on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register and in need of urgent major conservation.
Above: The basement ceiling had collapsed from water damage; damp rot caused by intruding tree roots; front door of Sandycombe Lodge
The Trust decided to restore the house to its original appearance, as designed by Turner and open it to the public. Visitors will be able to explore this small but beautiful building, discovering Turner’s ways of working and learning more about his deep love of the river landscape. Everyday life in a small Regency house will come entertainingly alive, including the role played here by Turner’s father, ‘Old William’, who presided over house and garden.
The surviving section of the original garden, which is of great importance to the presentation and character of the house, will also be restored. As well as renewing the planting and reinstating the “grassy mound” shown in the 1814 illustration above, the Trust will also address access issues with new paths to allow maximum accessibility and where possible include provision for wheelchair users.
The restoration of Sandycombe Lodge and its reopening present some very exciting opportunities for education, both within our local community and reaching out to much wider audiences. Using the building and the many strands of history on which we can draw, Turner’s House Trust intends to offer a rich variety of learning opportunities, from young children to post-graduates, and to adults wishing to acquire new skills. The Trust will share the process of conservation and restoration with the public, engendering a wider understanding of the issues involved in sensitive heritage projects.
As a thank you for your support, we are delighted to offer a range of rewards, including:
For more details please see individual rewards on the right.
Turner's House Trust is pleased to acknowledge the support of the following:
The Sackler TrustThe Finnis Scott FoundationThe Aldama Foundation