Dating from 1570, Kelmscott Manor was Arts & Crafts pioneer William Morris's country home from 1871. Built of local grey limestone, with mullioned windows and high pointed gables topped by ball finials, Morris loved the mellow old manor for its integrity and austerity, and for the harmony of the house within its setting, which he described as almost as if 'it had grown up out of the soil'. Throughout his life, working with great Pre-Raphaelite artists such as Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Morris dedicated himself to a movement against what he saw as the vulgar tastes of his day, with its sentimentality and clutter. Kelmscott Manor perfectly evokes this movement, containing an outstanding collection of Morris’s works, including furniture, and textiles and personal possessions, as well as those of his Arts & Crafts associates.
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
Assist dogs allowed
- Parking nearby
- Ground floor rooms only accessible, shop & tea room
- Facilities: Photobook of 1st & 2nd floors
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Open Apr–Oct, Wed & Sat 11–5
Also in the area
About the area
Located at the heart of England, Oxfordshire enjoys a rich heritage and surprisingly varied scenery. Its landscape encompasses open chalk downland and glorious beechwoods, picturesque rivers and attractive villages set in peaceful farmland. The countryside in the northwest of Oxfordshire seems isolated by comparison, more redolent of the north of England, with its broad views, undulating landscape and dry-stone walls. The sleepy backwaters of Abingdon, Wallingford, Wantage, Watlington and Witney reveal how Oxfordshire’s old towns evolved over the centuries, while Oxford’s imposing streets reflect the beauty and elegance of ‘that sweet city with her dreaming spires.’ Fans of the fictional sleuth Inspector Morse will recognise many Oxford landmarks described in the books and used in the television series.
The county demonstrates how the strong influence of humans has shaped this part of England over the centuries. The Romans built villas in the pretty river valleys that thread their way through Oxfordshire, the Saxons constructed royal palaces here, and the Normans left an impressive legacy of castles and churches. The philanthropic wool merchants made their mark too, and many of their fine buildings serve as a long-lasting testimony to what they did for the good of the local community.
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