Stars flock to Turner’s dilapidated home

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Stars flock to Turner’s dilapidated home

It is a place where history was made.

The celebrated painter J.M.W. Turner designed and lived in a house in Twickenham, which is now in disrepair. But that didn’t stop a couple of celebrities paying it a visit.

The artist inspired the script and story of the award-winning 2014 biopic, Mr Turner.

Director Mike Leigh and actor Paul Jesson were among those raising awareness of the state of the building, in order to help it get restored.

The Grade Two listed house is on English Heritage's At Risk Register. The Heritage Lottery Fund have invested £1.4 million into the building’s crumbling walls, but an extra £270,000 of funding will be needed in order to begin the restoration process.

Director Mike Leigh spoke of the importance of the building, saying: "If anyone decided to demolish Shakespeare's birthplace, everyone would make a fuss.

"This is the only surviving house where Turner lived, to let it go would be a heinous crime.

"It is not just a house that he lived in, but it is one of the quirkiest buildings there is - it is very evocative and a little bit spooky."

The Turner's House Trust has now taken over the property named Sandycombe Lodge.

The Trust's chairwoman Catherine Parry-Wingfield said: "If you had been standing here when water was up to your ankles, you would want to bring this house back to life.

"The house has got a lot to tell us when the funding is in - it is enormously exciting."

The Trust plans to get Sandycombe Lodge ready for a public opening by 2016.

London Live’s Alison Earle went to see the property.

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