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Urgent appeal to save Turner's St Margarets home
Globally-acclaimed artist JMW Turner’s home in St Margarets is under threat after years of neglect.
Turner’s Sandycombe Lodge, in Sandycoombe Road, is a Grade II* listed building which he designed and completed in 1813 as a country retreat for himself and his elderly father.
But after decades of neglect and weather damage, the Turner’s House Trust is appealing to the nation to save his house.
The picturesque regency villa has now been placed on English Heritage’s at risk register.
The trust received a first round pass and development grant of £134,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to embark on the first stage to restore the property to Turner’s original design.
It has already received a number of match-funding, but now require further match funds of at least £600,000 to press on with the restoration.
Earlier this month the trust launched their £2m bicentennial appeal to save and restore the house to its former glory.
Catherine Parry-Wingfield, chairman of the trust, said: “This little house is of national and indeed international importance as a work by Turner.
“It is unusual, as for England’s greatest painter this is a work of art that comes in three dimensions.
“Turner’s work is renowned throughout the world and here is a gem of a building in a place that was inspirational to him.”
The country abode is surrounded and shielded by tall trees in St Margarets, with many people unaware of its existence.
It is thought that Turner would have had a largely unspoiled view of the River Thames, where he sketched on a boat, from the upstairs of the house.
He may well have used it as something of an informal studio and entertained artist friends such as architect John Sloane, who influenced the design of the house.
Dr Penelope Curtis, director at Tate Britain, said: “We wish the trust well with their campaign and hope the house Turner planned and lived for a number of years can be fully restored.
“It would be marvelous to see this historic property returned to life and finding a new purpose.”
Sandycombe Lodge once again took part in Open House London last week and will be taking part in next weekend’s national Big Draw event.
To donate or find out more, visit turnerintwickenham.org.uk.
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