Hugh Thackeray Turner (1853-1937) was an architect by profession, and an amateur china painter. He was apprenticed to Sir George Gilbert Scott, and then worked under his son. In 1888 he married Mary Elizabeth Powell, daughter of Thomas Wilde Powell of Guildford. His daughter, Ruth, married Mount Everest Climber, George Leigh-Mallory, who taught at Charterhouse.

In 1899 Turner bought land in Godalming to build a house and designed Westbrook, which was to become his place of residence.

There he designed the garden, and which was placed on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Interest in England describing them as a “perfect example of early 20th century gardens.” You can read more about the gardens here.

Locally Turner purchased an old barn in Charterhouse Rd adapted it and presented it to Godalming Parish Church where it was used as the headquarters for the church troop of Boy Scouts. In Guildford he designed Wycliffe Buildings (1894), The Court (1902), and Mead Cottage in Guildford.

The design of the Philips Memorial Cloister

Godalming Riverside Philips Memorial Cloister

Godalming Riverside Philips Memorial Cloister

He designed, along with Gertrude Jekyll, the Godalming riverside Philips Memorial Cloister commemorating the bravery of Titanic hero, Jack Philips.

Turner as painter of china in Arts & Crafts style

Turner’s reputation as a china painter has been acknowledged in the Decorative Arts Society Journal. He painted on china for at least fifty years producing on average six pieces a year, and followed the principals of the Arts and Crafts Movement where he exhibited his work.

Godalming Museum has examples of his work on display, including this finely decorated dish and vase. Image: Godalming Museum

Godalming Museum has examples of his work on display
including this finely decorated dish and vase
Image: Godalming Museum

Thackeray Turner founds the West Surrey Society

Turner founded The West Surrey Society of which he remained Chairman until his death, and was member of the Godalming Town Council from 1907-1910. He was a colleague of William Morris, and was appointed the first secretary of The Society For The Protection Of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), from 1885-1911.

A Plaque in memory of Hugh Thackeray Turner

There is a plaque to Hugh Thackeray Turner in the parish church of St Peter and St Paul in Godalming.

In memory of
Hugh Thackeray
Turner
8th March 1853-1937 Dec 11th
of Westbrook Godalming
An architect
and an artist in the craft
of building, who devoted
most of his life to the saving
and repairing of the ancient
buildings of England, and
to the preservation of the
beauties of the
countryside

3 Responses to Hugh Thackeray Turner (1853 – 1937)

  1. christine payne says:

    My sister and I visited the Phillips memorial yesterday, 21/07/13. my sister noticed that the spelling of Hugh Thackeray Turner is incorrect as the sir name has been spelt Tuner. This mistake has probably already been reported, but I thought I would mention it and enquire whether it can be amended easily, probably not?

  2. Ian Ockenden says:

    I have received my family and it has my 5th Grandmother Jane Turner who was born in Ockley 1738. I am trying to see who her parants may be and if Hugh Thackery Turner is related

  3. Brian Butterly says:

    Please, does anyone know of any papers relating to Goodwyn’s Place built by Hugh Thackeray Turner for Thomas Edmund Powell – who I believe was his uncle by marriage. I am trying to establish whether it was built from “scratch” or whether it was a major conversion of Powell’s home “Oakridge” which gets no mention after 1901?

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