October 2020

Ken Biggs Ltd, are making great progress at Kelmscott Manor despite the challenges with Covid. They have completed the Car Park and the North Road Barn is being prepared for the installation of visitor vehicles. They expect to finish the South Road Barn in the next few weeks, when both sets of barn doors will be hung and the toilets hooked up to the Sewage tank.

The roof and ceiling on the Stable Barn (Tea Room) is substantially complete, with decorations and mechanical and electrical work now underway. The fit-out of the new kitchen will follow and is expected to complete at the end of October.

Restored Byre on the South side of the Granary.

Restored Byre on the South side of the Granary.The Granary (Shop) has now been handed back to Kelmscott Manor staff, who are using the first floor as a temporary office until they can return to their offices inside the House. The ground floor is now awaiting the fit-out for the Shop. The Byre stabling on the southern side of the granary has now been restored and will be used for visitor activities when the property re-opens.

Paul Drury, President and John Maddison FSA in front of the new Learning & Activity Space


The new Learning & Activity Space has been thatched and the joinery is currently being fitted.  The Space is approximately 80m2 and designed to accommodate a class of 35 pupils + 7 adults and it will be used to provide a new learning programme for schools, community groups and informal activities for visitors during public open days. In Spring 2021 we will pilot the learning programme to help us develop the offer so that we can make it widely available from 2022. Additionally, the space will support a new artist-in-residence programme as well as the community archaeological programme.

Crating the Philip Webb Settle

The Collections have now been decanted from Manor House. Our Curator, Dr Kathy Haslam, has been supported by staff and volunteers packing hundreds of boxes of portable objects and books. She has also organised an army of ‘home’ help to create 1000’s of acid free tissue packing wads and the necessary documentation to accompany each box. The external team of art handlers have now removed all of the larger-scale and complex objects. Custom-made crates had to be fabricated for many of the objects, which will be kept at a custom-designed fine art storage facility for the duration of the works on site.   Practical completion of all works is expected by the end October 2021, when the collections return and preparations will then begin in earnest for the grand opening in April 2022.

Scaffolding has been erected to the outside of the Manor House and the Contractors have prepared the interiors for conservation and renovation works to commence any day now. Internal works are expected to complete by the end of August 2021.

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]