The Red House – Home of William Morris

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Another place I should have known about – it was on my doorstep for so many years but has taken me until now as a returning tourist to finally see. The Red House was commissioned and lived in by William Morris in the 1860’s. He was founder of the Arts & Crafts movement in Victorian England and well known for the wonderful designs that we are so familiar with today (particularly fabric and wallpaper). He and his fellow artists were very fond of all things medieval and helped to bring about a gothic revival in architecture. As you can see by the photo of his house it has a very gothic look to it:

The Red House – half an hour from the centre of London

Part of the garden

Morris married the young artists model Jane Burden who caused more than a bit of a stir in Victorian England by not wearing corsets! Jane was from very humble beginnings, her father being a groomsman but she was a great beauty and a favourite muse for the group of artists Morris associated with and Jane was seen as the perfect example of pre-Raphaelite beauty. Once she was married to Morris she re-invented herself, learning french and italian and learning to play the piano. Jane was also responsible for the beautiful embroidery hanging in the dining room:

One of the embroideries from the dining room

Detail of embroidery

Window seat in the bedroom

Front door designed by William Morris

Front door detail showing painted glass

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