As a lifelong devotee of the work of William Morris, I have been meaning to make a pilgrimage to his one time home, The Red House, in the suburbia of South East London for quite some time. When I finally made it there this weekend, I was certainly not disappointed.
Completed in 1860 the Red House was designed by William Morris, founder of the Arts & Crafts movement and the architect Philip Webb. It was described by Edward Burne-Jones as ‘the beautifullest place on earth‘ and wandering around the house and gardens you can see what he meant. The airy rooms are decorated in original wallpaper and textiles and feature his elegantly designed furniture. A particular highlight for me were the decorated window panes painted by William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, some gorgeous hand-painted tiles and an original sofa, both designed by Morris and upholstered in his fabric.
The peaceful, shady gardens provided an idyllic picnic location in which to contemplate the Red Houses’s awe inspiring spirit of craftsmanship, and there is even a second- hand book shop on the grounds. In true National Trust style the coach house cafe provided excellently restorative tea and cake rounding off a most pleasant and visually inspiring day out.