On Thursday 24 March we celebrated William Morris’s 188th birthday with our Royal Patron, His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester; Margorie Glasgow, the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire and over 170 Supporters of the Kelmscott project. Judging by the warmth and enthusiasm with which our guests greeted the ‘new’ Kelmscott Manor, the work we have undertaken over the last three years has enhanced its power to charm. It was gratifying to see how many guests appreciated the care that has gone into conserving and renovating Kelmscott Manor. May Morris left the Society with an irreplaceable resource, and we have concentrated all our efforts into conserving it in a manner appropriate to its significance.
As we hope you will see when you visit, there is no over-enthusiastic restoration and, in line with SPAB principles, ‘no tampering with either the fabric or ornament’ of the historic buildings; we have merely put the barns to better use and reinstated the thatched Bye at the south range of the farmyard. We have also removed all vehicles from the site and the overall effect is that the visitor is now able to experience Kelmscott Manor a little closer to how it would have been in Morris’s time.
Inside the House, we have recreated the spaces as they would have been known to the Morris family. Every placement of furniture and objects, together with each new paint colour or choice of wallpaper, has been informed by visual or written sources consulted during extensive research. The 17th century Kelmscott Manor embodies the continuing inspirational power of the past with its architecture and artefacts spanning more than four centuries; it is a place of historical creativity and imaginative engagement that is as compelling today as it was for Morris.
Kelmscott Manor is NOW OPEN every Thursday, Friday and Saturday – 10.30am to 5.00pm until Saturday 29 October.
CREATING A LASTING LEGACY FOR KELMSCOTT
We are grateful to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Benefactors and Companions for helping us raise £6 million to conserve and renovate Kelmscott Manor.
We need your help to raise £1 million to create a Fund to support learning, exhibitions and events.
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]
If you wish to make a donation online please visit here.