35. Kelmscott Manor

Kelmscott Manor, the summer home of William Morris. Copyright Society of Antiquaries.
William Morris, a leading figure in the Cotswolds' Arts and Crafts Movement.This Grade I listed farmhouse on the edge of the village of Kelmscott, near Lechlade, was built around 1600 next to the River Thames.

Built of local limestone, between 1871 and 1896 it was the summer home of William Morris, the English artist, writer, textile designer and socialist. Morris signed a joint lease with the Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the summer of 1871.

Morris loved the house as a work of true craftsmanship, totally unspoilt and unaltered, and in harmony with the village and the surrounding countryside. Its beautiful gardens, with barns, dovecote, a meadow and stream, provided a constant source of inspiration.

Possibly the most evocative of all the houses associated with Morris, Kelmscott Manor contains an outstanding collection of the possessions and works of Morris, his family and his associates in the Arts and Crafts Movement, including furniture, original textiles, pictures, carpets, ceramics and metalwork.

William Morris, his wife Jane and children Jenny and May are buried in the grounds of St George's Church, Kelmscott.

Framed entrance to Kelmscott Manor.Kelmscott Manor is now owned and managed by the Society of Antiquaries of London who over the last 50 years have invested considerable resources to save it from ruin.

Kelmscott was awarded the Gold Small Visitor Attraction 2014 from Cotswolds Tourism and was one of just five attractions shortlisted by The Guardian newspaper for most inspiring attraction in the Museums & Heritage Awards 2014.

For the first time ever, 2014 saw an artist in residency appointed at Kelmscott - contemporary stained glass artist Sasha Ward, from Marlborough - to celebrate William Morris’s legacy.

Fundraising is also taking place with the hope of approaching the Heritage Lottery Fund for around £2 million to help with site improvements, including an expanded tearoom.

Lovers of William Morris, the Arts and Crafts Movement and its followers can find many more examples of their work around the Cotswolds.

This inheritance can be explored at a number of galleries, churches and museums, such as Selsey Church, near Stroud, which houses stained glass windows designed by William Morris and fellow artists.
Visitors relaxing on the tea lawn at Kelmscott Manor.

More information

Kelmscott Manor
Kelmscott, near Lechlade, Gloucestershire GL7 3HJ
01367 252486

© Loving The Cotswolds. 2018.