A grant of £4.3 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, announced today, will secure the future of Kelmscott Manor, the country home of the internationally acclaimed craftsman, designer, writer, environmentalist and socialist William Morris, and safeguard its internationally important collections for future generations
The development includes carrying out urgent repairs to the listed Manor House, the renovation of its famous gardens and the construction of a new education centre and visitor facilities. The project aims to enhance visitors’ understanding of the house and its setting and attract new audiences, particularly young people. Visitors will explore the inspirational impact that Kelmscott and its long history and archaeology had on William Morris and how this manifested itself in his work and helped to create his enduring worldwide legacy
William Morris is renowned today as the designer of patterns such as ‘Willow Bough’ and ‘Strawberry Thief’. The architecture, history, landscape, flora and fauna of Kelmscott inspired many of his most important designs and writings and influenced his ideas on conservation for both the built and natural environments.
The house contains an outstanding collection of works by Morris as well as his family and associates including Burne-Jones, Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and Philip Webb that includes furniture, original textiles, pictures and paintings, carpets, ceramics and metalwork.
The Manor is owned by the Society of Antiquaries of London, of which William Morris was a Fellow. Martin Levy FSA, Chairman of the Kelmscott Campaign Group, said: “I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has endorsed our passion for this project and enabled it to proceed for the benefit of future generations.”
Paul Drury, President, said: “The HLF investment will make Kelmscott self-sustaining and it therefore secures its long-term future while maintaining its fragile spirit of place. Our aim is to enhance the public’s understanding of the importance of Kelmscott and its landscape and how it influenced Morris’s thinking and his art.”
John S.C. Lewis FSA General Secretary said: ” It is wonderful to not only secure the future of the Manor, but to be able to engage the public with a love of the past in all its forms; a love that is central to the Society of Antiquaries and which was pivotal to Morris as one of our Fellows”.
For more information on visiting please see: www.sal.org.uk/kelmscott-manor/