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Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 – 1851), commonly referred to as J M W Turner, was one of Britain’s greatest painters. In 1813, he built a small brick villa, Sandycombe Lodge, on a large plot near the Thames at Twickenham. Turner designed the house himself, with the help of his friend, John Soane and it could be said that Sandycombe Lodge is his largest artwork. Turner installed his father, Old William, who tended the garden and kept house. The artist used this peaceful spot, with no other buildings nearby, to retreat from the pressures of the London art world, to walk and sketch along the Thames, to fish with one or two close companions, and occasionally to entertain larger groups of friends.
The location is a little more crowded now and much of the old garden has been built over. But the last resident, Professor Livermore, wanted to preserve the house for the nation and this vision has been realised by the Turner’s House Trust, which has restored the property and opened it to the public. It has been furnished and decorated based on the best evidence for how it would have looked in Turner’s day. Some of Turner’s work is on display, along with beautifully crafted models of ships, variations on those which Turner had in the house.
Opening times are limited – it is essential to check the website before travelling.
Photo - Turner's House
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