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A project to restore the home of the painter JWM Turner near the Thames at Twickenham and open it to the public has taken a significant step forward.

Turner designed Sandycombe Lodge and lived there for 13 years during which time he painted many of his famous paintings of the river including the view from Richmond Hill

At a topping out ceremony to celebrate a crucial stage in restoration, conservation architect Gary Butler of Butler Hegarty Architects, thanked William Fullers Contractors and the on-site team of builders and specialist skilled craftspeople for their contribution and commitment.

Scaling the scaffolding Gary Butler (above) placed a traditional evergreen garland at a high point to celebrate this topping out ‘with a difference’. Topping out traditionally marks the placing of the chimney pots on a new building.

However, restoration of Turner’s House began at the top, working towards ground level, reversing the usual build sequence as extensions added later to the building were removed to reveal Turner’s original design for Sandycombe Lodge.

Modern day Sandycombe Lodge before restoration. Pic:Rosemary Vaux

Turner’s House Trustees Chair Catherine Parry-Wingfield (pictured above right cutting the celebration cake) said: “This is an exciting milestone in our restoration project. The dedication of our on-site team has brought us considerably closer to the day when we reopen the doors of Turner’s House for all to enjoy.”

The project remains on schedule to officially re-open during this summer.

The total cost of restoration and for realising Turner’s House Trust plans for Sandycombe Lodge’s future activities is £2.4 million. Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, Architectural Heritage Fund and many other generous funders and private supporters, the ambitious project is now entering its final restoration phase.

Watch a video about the restoration HERE

Click on to the trust website HERE

More about Turner on the Tate Britain website HERE

Story dated February 13th 2017