After having the opportunity to see Turner’s Chair, our next foray into this great London-born artist’s life is to Twickenham and Turner’s House. Grade II* Listed Sandycombe House has undergone a £2.4 million transformation turning it back to how it was in Turner’s day.
Extensions demolished, a bathroom ripped out, a century of paint removed from the exterior walls after discovering it originally had exposed brickwork, even a restated picket fence.
All to restore this modest house designed by Britain’s greatest artist back to how it looks in Turner’s day. Built-in 1812 to designs by Turner who began as an architectural draughtsman, it comprises of one bedroom, a dining room, basement kitchen and another box room.
After Turner sold the property in 1821, it has been a laundry and astonishingly a factory making pilots’ goggles.
The complete restoration has reproduced the imitation marble block finish, much loved in late Georgian homes to the entrance hall and stairs. A small scrap of wallpaper found behind a cupboard has given the restorers the pattern for the bedroom wallpaper.
Now the search is on for Turner’s horse Crop-Ear. Turner, not the most sartorially elegant figure, would travel around the neighbourhood with his ageing father in their carriage drawn by a dishevelled elderly horse. Turner recorded buying Crop-Ear on his land. The current thinking is that this was done somewhere near the stables, unfortunately, a large Victorian pub now stands on the site.
Image: Sandycombe Lodge: Turner’s House post-conservation front view; Anne Purkiss ©Turner’s House Trust Collection.