Help needed to conserve the 17th century Grade-II-Listed Field Barn at Kelmscott Manor, the Cotswolds home of William Morris (1834-96). 

17th Century Grade II Listed Field Barn at Kelmscott Manor

The barn is in in relatively untouched condition, which makes the interior particularly significant. The structure is in a critical state. The west and east walls are leaning and the internal roof frames that are not rigid are pushing the tops of the walls outwards. The walls need to be prevented from moving any further.  We have a contractor onsite, Ken Biggs Ltd, undertaking major conservation works to the Manor and our architects have drawn up a scheme which can be scheduled the into the programme for completion by the end of October 2021. Kelmscott Manor will reopen in April 2022. Our aim is for the barn to be used for visitors to explore and enjoy.

The barn is in an unbalanced state, with the wall now 180mm out of vertical. The building is beginning to fail. The structure has swayed to the west, and the west stone wall is now at the point of pulling the building over.

The project architect has designed an option that mostly closely follows the SPAB Manifesto ‘to put Protection in the place of Restoration, to stave off decay by daily care, to prop a perilous wall’.  The solution will be found externally, rather than internally, so as to maintain the integrity of the internal space, which is more or less as Morris would have known it.

Chris Poolman, Ken Biggs Ltd and Robert Battersby, Architecton present conservation options.

We have secured £17,000 towards structural improvements to the Field Barn, but since starting major capital works at Kelmscott Manor, we have discovered significant repairs are urgently required. We need to raise £43,125 towards £60,125 cost of full structural repair.

Kelmscott Manor is owned and managed by The Society of Antiquaries of London (Charity no. 207237), one of the oldest learned Societies in the world.  The Society’s work to repair and maintain the historic buildings and collections publicly demonstrates our dedication to caring for the remains of the past, and keeps alive the conservation ethos pioneered by Morris


Any donation large or small is incredibly appreciated and could make all the difference to the Kelmscott Campaign.

If you would like to become a ‘Companion’ (£500) or a ‘Benefactor of Kelsmcott Manor’ (£5000) please contact  Dominic Wallis, Head of Development, Society of Antiquaries of London, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BE [email protected]