Martin Levy FSA, Chair of the Campaign for Kelmscott manor with Lord Loyd Webber.

Ken Biggs Ltd have now achieved practical completion of structural repairs and are now undertaking snagging works until the end of November.  We are now finishing the decorative schemes inside the House and the collections have returned to the rooms. Kathy Haslam FSA is continuing to work on the interpretation of display areas with John Maddison FSA and Peter Cormack FSA.  This is a mammoth task involving a lot of research and processing to provide enough information to our visitors, whose interests range from passing curiosity to detailed scholarly research.  We refer to this as providing for ‘paddlers to deep-sea-divers.’   As the contractors make the final finishing touches, our focus has turned to getting the House ready to open in April 2022.  We are all really looking forward to being able to welcome visitors back to the Manor since it closed 30 months ago!  While we know there are many challenges ahead, the Kelmscott Team are resourceful and committed to making the new experience for visitors well worth the wait.

Fruit Logbook all colours

Wallpapering is partially complete on the first floor of the Manor House.  William Moris designed Fruit in 1864 and was his 3rd wallpaper design.  It was also the original scheme in Jane Morris’s bedroom, which as you can see in the photo, has now been reinstated.   The design is made up by printing with 12 blocks, which were originally cut by Barrett’s in Bethnal Green, who specialized in this work. The original cost for cutting the 12 blocks was £15, plus £1 10s for trial proofs. Jeffrey & Co. who originally printed the wallpapers created logbooks with a colour record of each design and set up a separate block printing department for all of Morris’s designs. The logbook entry shows Dark Fruit, Light Fruit and Blue Fruit and it’s the Blue Fruit that has been recreated today using the original blocks for Jane Morris’s bedroom at Kelmscott Manor by Sanderson Design Group’s Anstey Wallpaper Company in Loughborough.

Blue Fruit in Jane Morris’s bedroom

The decorative scheme in this room will be completed by the re-upholstery of the bed as it was in 1896, with reproduction ‘Single Stem’ textile, an 1829 floral design re-printed for Morris in 1868 when he first considered embarking on textile production.

With the adjacent landing and William Morris’s Room decorated with new hand-blocked wallpapers and individual paint schemes too, the ambience of and relationship between the spaces will be markedly different.



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 Kelmscott Manor’ (£5000) please contact Dominic Wallis, Head of Development, Society of Antiquaries of London, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BE [email protected]

Want to find out more about the project visit here.