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26 June 2019Kelmscott Manor, Lechlade, Gloucestershire

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Kelmscott Manor, Lechlade, Gloucestershire
Wednesday 26 June 2019

Kelmscott Manor, Lechlade, Gloucestershire

Kelmscott Manor was the inspirational Cotswold retreat of William Morris, his family, friends and colleagues.
When Morris first saw the Manor in 1871, he was delighted by this 'loveliest haunt of ancient peace'; he signed a joint lease for the property with his friend and colleague Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the Pre-Raphaelite artist.

The fascinating and important collections at Kelmscott Manor span more than 300 years and reflect the history, ideas and creative legacy of those who lived and worked here. Originally home to successful yeoman farmers, in 1871 it became a place of relaxation and inspiration for Father of the Arts & Crafts movement William Morris (1834-1896), his family and his friends.

The earliest ‘layer’ of the collections is represented by the solid oak furniture and seventeenth-century tapestries owned by the Turner family, the original occupants of the Manor.

Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who was joint-tenant with Morris between 1871 and 1874 and used the Manor for much of that time, added his own furniture to the interiors. This forms an extremely rare group of furnishings associated with the artist. Reflecting Rossetti’s rather sophisticated taste, it includes a number of black-and-gold pieces as well as fashionable early nineteenth-century furniture.

The Morris family was associated with the manor for 67 years. As well as furnishings designed specifically for the Manor by Morris’s friend and associate Philip Webb (Arts & Crafts architect and designer), the collections also contain items from each of Morris’s London homes, including several designed for the iconic Red House at Bexleyheath.

Morris’s wife, Jane, and younger daughter, May, are also vivid presences here, and many examples of their beautiful and accomplished needlework are on display.