NATIONAL MUSEUM RESTORES VINTAGE LIGHTWELL AT PENARTH’S TURNER HOUSE

The balustrade and vintage light well - which had been removed by Turner House tenants Ffotogallery without permission or consultation - is now back where it was

The T Alwyn Lloyd 1940s vintage balustrade and light well – which had been removed by Turner House tenants Ffotogallery without permission or consultation – is now back where it was

The National Museum of Wales is set to escape the embarrassment of having a Listed Building Enforcement Notice issued against it by the Vale of Glamorgan Council over unauthorised modifications made at Turner House, Penarth  .

Unauthorised work had been carried out in the building at the end of 2014 which had involved the removal of the balustrade and the blocking up of the central lightwell of the building .

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) (left) with Penarth AM and Conservative Leader Andrew R T Davies at the Turner House Gallery

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) (left) had met Penarth AM and Wales Conservative Leader Andrew R T Davies at the Turner House Gallery last month to discuss the position. Andrew R T Davies said  he had written to the National Museum and thought it was “slightly bizarre” there was no record of the true ownership of Turner House in the Land Registry .

The lightwell in the first floor had allowed light from the skylights in the roof to reach the ground floor of Turner House and had been installed in the 1940s by the distinguished architect T Alwyn Lloyd but had been arbitrarily removed by tenants Ffotogallery without any consultation or permission.

James Pyke Thompson - benefactor and founder of Turner House Penarth

James Pyke Thompson – benefactor and founder of Turner House Penarth who left the building and its paintings to the town

Turner House, and the millions of pounds-worth of Turner paintings that it once contained, was bequeathed in trust to the people of Penarth by the Victorian flour-milling magnate James Pyke Thompson – but was handed over by the trust in the 1920s to be managed by the National Museum of Wales.

Penarth AM and Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew R T Davies has said it is “slightly bizarre” that there is no record of the ownership of Turner House in the Land Registry and has written to all the parties involved asking for updates on the latest situation at the gallery.

The unauthorised alterations to the gallery had been discussed with concern by members of the Vale of Glamorgan council’s planning committee which had called for a report on the situation and was considering issuing a formal Enforcement Notice  against the National Museum

The Vale’s conservation officer has now inspected the repair work and the restored lightwell and is recommending that there is now no need to proceed with the issuance of the Enforcement Notice against the Museum.

The final decision will be taken by the Vale of Glamorgan Council planning committee on Thursday this week .

Another Ffotogallery plan to host a regular “50-mile Food Fair” inside the Grade II Listed building was dropped when the promoter withdrew the plan after it had attracted criticism from local residents.

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Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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6 Responses to NATIONAL MUSEUM RESTORES VINTAGE LIGHTWELL AT PENARTH’S TURNER HOUSE

  1. P Ford-Evans says:

    R T Davies thinks it is bizarre that there is no record of the ownership of Turner House in the Land Registry. But if the National Museum became owners in the 1920s, this was before it was compulsory to register land when a property changed hands. Registration was made compulsory by law only in 1990, so the National Museum will have a bundle of deeds as evidence of its ownership and there will be no record other than these deeds in existence anywhere else. This is simply how unregistered land works and, although now fairly unusual, it is definitely not bizarre!

  2. Louise says:

    Good! Next step for the museum is to serve Ffotogallery their notice and then use the building as an extension of the museum’s existing art galleries and show some of the beautiful works of art that are languishing in storage.

  3. Hugh O'Connell says:

    On my visitis to Penarth it always used to be a pleasure to visit the Turner House when it exhibited art work. A most delightful and well planned gallery. Its decline in recent years is sad and worrying. However, Penarth now has a wonderful opportunity to re-launch the gallery and provide opportunities for artists, creative people and school exhibitions which would provide a cultural and social hub for the local community. Could it also link in with the library and other creative organsiations ? Why doesn’t the Penarth Times run an Ideas forum for its readers to generate local interest after all it is Penarth’s very own gallery which should be a source of pride to the community.

  4. Janet says:

    My thoughts exactly! Bring back “our” lovely Turner paintings to Turner House.

  5. 1 – Ffotogallery is one of the leading gallery education resources in Wales, google Lightbox for a start, which was an initative from them.
    2 – In the current climate, NMW is in no position to extend it’s galleries having completed a major renovation of its contemporary wing a few years ago.
    3 – Ffotogallery show amazing photographic work, Ragnar Kjartansson’s exhibition there last year was possibly one of the most beautiful exhibitions that has ever been in Wales, never mind just Penarth
    4 – The cost of putting ‘our’ Turner paintings on display is fraught with difficulty, Turner paintings, due to their importance in the canon of art, not to mention value means that the entire building must be climate controlled, monitored and with ample and appropriate security, to ensure the longevity of the work so that it may be enjoyed by as many people for as long as possible. Neither Ffotogallery, NMW or Penarth Council can currently afford this, due to austerity measures imposed on them that have caused major cuts in Arts Council Wales funding.
    5 – Ffotogallery provide regular opportunities for artists who use photography, they link with other creative organisations, including Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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