Become a Volunteer
Do you have spare time to fill? Enjoy meeting people? Would you enjoy working in a beautiful heritage environment?
Join us at the Manor as a volunteer in a variety of interesting roles!
Kelmscott Manor depends on its fantastic volunteer team of over 100 people. The majority of our volunteers steward in the Manor’s period rooms on General Open days and during group visits. Other important roles include: welcoming visitors on site and inviting Gift Aid donations; ticket sales; supporting study days and workshops; stewarding special events; supporting the tearoom and shop.
We welcome enquiries at any time of the year. Please contact Kathy Haslam (telephone 01367 253348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and an application pack. New volunteers will be engaged as vacancies become available and are introduced to their role through an induction programme.
In particular, we currently need volunteers who are available on Saturdays.
‘I started volunteering at Kelmscott Manor about 20 years ago, and I enjoy meeting volunteers and visitors in congenial surroundings. I learn something new, not always related to Kelmscott, every visit,’ Barbara Owen, Volunteer.
‘As a long time admirer of William Morris, working as a volunteer steward at Kelmscott Manor is a complete delight. Not only do I get to spend the day in a lovely Cotswold farmhouse surrounded by beautiful artefacts, which are closely associated with the Morris family, but I do so in the company of other volunteers who are fascinated by Morris’s life and work,’ Helena Neilsen, Volunteer.
TM Rooke's Watercolour of 'Caxtons' by Barbara Owen
One of my favourite objects in Kelmscott Manor is the painting by Thomas Rooke of Philip Webb’s rented cottage. It is just inside the door in Jane’s bedroom and most visitors walk by, taking in the rest of the room. Rooke’s painting is a detailed watercolour of the living room where Philip Webb spent his retirement. The room is simple and comfortable, furnished with Morris chairs and a Hammersmith rug. The window panes and tiled floor are lovingly executed and the door leads directly outside. The picture gives a strong impression that Philip Webb lived in a more Morris style than Morris himself.
I think that Philip Webb and Thomas Rooke could have been rather similar men. Neither have had the recognition they deserve but I suspect that neither of them would expect it nor care very much. Philip Webb co-operated with Morris all his working life. He was kind, selfeffacing , and generous. Thomas Rooke was Burne-Jones’ studio assistant for almost 30 years. He painted large religious pictures and recorded buildings threatened with demolition for Ruskin. Like Webb, he was gentle and unassuming. Burne-Jones wrote of him to Ruskin: 'There is a very high place in Heaven waiting for him and he doesn’t know it'.
My interest in Morris dates from my student days, at Whitelands, established in 1841. The chapel was furnished with windows and reredos by Morris and Burne-Jones. Ruskin donated books and drawings and established the tradition of May Queen and maypole dancing. I started volunteering at Kelmscott Manor about twenty years ago, and I enjoy meeting volunteers and visitors in congenial surroundings. I learn something new, not always related to Kelmscott, every visit.