£4.3million to restore William Morris’s celebrated country home
Kelmscott Manor, the country home of the writer, designer, environmentalist and socialist William Morris, is the latest historic gem linked to the Arts and Crafts movement to be refurbished thanks to money from the National Lottery.
Many of Morris’s works were inspired by the natural environment of Kelmscott, which also helped shape his views on conservation.
“With a new learning centre, a programme for schools and community groups, and increased public access, this National Lottery investment in Kelmscott Manor makes a significant contribution towards supporting his legacy.”Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of HLF
Today, Kelmscott Manor, in the small village of Kelmscott in Oxfordshire, is an unspoilt collection of listed buildings dating back to the 16th century, housing furniture, pictures and textiles, including many pieces created by Morris.
Two rooms in the manor currently closed to the public will be opened as exhibition and archive spaces, the manor and agricultural buildings will be restored and learning resources and activities will tell the story of how the site inspired Morris.
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of HLF, said: “We can all learn from the wisdom and beliefs of William Morris, and the beautiful Kelmscott Manor is the perfect place to understand why he continues to have such an influence on the way we live today. William Morris famously believed that art, like education, should be for everyone. With a new learning centre, a programme for schools and community groups, and increased public access, this National Lottery investment in Kelmscott Manor makes a significant contribution towards supporting his legacy.”
National Lottery support for the Arts and Crafts movement
The Arts and Crafts movement has had a huge influence on architecture and design in the UK. William Morris patterns such as 'Willow Bough' and 'Strawberry Thief' are perennially popular and can be found everywhere from John Lewis to Channel 4’s Gogglebox.
Kelmcott Manor joins a growing list of places linked to the Arts and Crafts movement that have been saved thanks to HLF support, including:
- York Gate Garden near Leeds - a miniature masterpiece of garden design
- the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow a cultural highlight of this part of East London since its National Lottery-funded restoration
- David Parr House in Cambridge, a unique time capsule of Victorian working class art and life, currently undergoing a major restoration
- Emery Walker House in Hammersmith, reopened to the public in 2017 following an 18-month restoration project
For more information you can visit the Kelmscott Manor website.