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
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.
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
8th March 1853-1937 Dec 11th
of Westbrook Godalming
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