Welcome to Kelmscott Manor
About the Manor
Kelmscott Manor was the Cotswold retreat of William Morris and 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.
We'll be open to visitors again in April 2015! Thank you to all the visitors (more than 20,000 of you!) who helped make our 2014 open season successful, and who came to support our Friends of Kelmscott Manor program and our first Artist in Residence, Sasha Ward.
In 2015, you can visit us every Wednesday and Saturday, April through October, 11.00am to 5.00pm. In addition to visiting the Manor house and gardens, you can explore our licensed Tea Room and lovely gift shop. You can download our beautiful map to help you find your way around.
What's on at Kelmscott Manor
We'll be undertaking conservation and development projects during our closed season. But come April, we're sure to have great things planned for our visitors! Stay tuned for more and check the 'What's On' page before you visit in the spring.
'A Heaven on Earth...'
Morris loved the house as a work of true craftsmanship, totally unspoilt and unaltered, and in harmony with the village and the surrounding countryside. He considered it so natural in its setting as to be almost organic, it looked to him as if it had "grown up out of the soil"; and with "quaint garrets amongst great timbers of the roof where of old times the tillers and herdsmen slept". Its beautiful gardens, with barns, dovecote, a meadow and stream, provided a constant source of inspiration for Morris until his death in 1896. After his death, his wife Jane purchased the house, and his daughter, May, spent most of her adult life there. The entire family—William and Jane Morris and their children, Jenny and May—are buried in the grounds of nearby St George's church. The village of Kelmscott also contains cottages designed by Webb and Gimson as well as the Morris Memorial Hall (also Gimson), all of which have associations with the Morris family.
Visitors today can still experience the beauty and seclusion that inspired many of William Morris's most important designs and writings and influenced his ideas on conservation for both the built and natural environments. This seventeenth-century, Grade 1 listed Manor house on the river Thames—perhaps the most evocative of all the houses associated with Morris—contains an outstanding collection of the possessions and works of Morris, as well as of his family and associates (Benson, Burne-Jones, Rossetti and Webb among them) that includes furniture, original textiles, pictures and paintings, carpets, ceramics and metalwork. The estate also boasts a beautiful garden with easy access to the Thames Pathway, as well as a licensed Tearoom and Shop.
Awards and Honours
Kelmscott Manor receives more than 20,000 visitors a year. Cotswolds Tourism named it the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year - 2014 (Gold Award) and it was put on the shortlist (5 out of 350 nominations) as the UK's Most Inspiring Museum or Heritage Attraction by the M+H Awards and Guardian Culture Pros Network.
Kelmscott Manor is owned and managed by the Society of Antiquaries of London. The Society is committed to a sustainable future for Kelmscott Manor.
Download and read our Conservation Management Plan, or visit the Kelmscott Manor 'Past, Present and Legacy' page for more information.