Red House

Visitor information

Feature List

  • Guided Tours
  • Café
  • Historic garden
  • Family activities
  • Gift shop
  • Second hand bookshop

The house created by writer, designer and socialist William Morris (1834-1896).

Described by Morris as 'very mediaeval in spirit', the house was architect Philip Webb's first commission in 1859, and is designed in an L-shape with elements drawn from contemporary and Gothic architecture. Morris moved into the house with his wife, Jane Burden (1839-1914) in June 1860. Together the Morris couple and their circle, including Edward Burne Jones (1833-1898), Ford Madox Brown (1821-1893) and Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) created an interior rich with painted surfaces, stained glass, and embroidered textiles. The ceilings were decorated with geometric patterns that still look modern today and the walls and furniture were painted with murals based on medieval romances. Burne-Jones described it as 'the beautifullest place on earth'. Red House saw the founding in 1861 of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co (later Morris & Co), who advertised themselves as 'Fine Art Workmen in Painting, Carving, Furniture and the Metals'.

Red House was bought by the National Trust in 2003. While the furnishings do not remain, extensive conservation work has uncovered previously hidden elements of the jewel-like interior, including an early Morris floral pattern and a previously unknown Pre-Raphaelite wall painting (pictured below).

'Genesis' wall painting in William Morris' bedroom | © National Trust
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Address:

Red House Lane
Bexleyheath
London
United Kingdom
DA6 8JF

Telephone:

+442083049878

Email:

redhouse@nationaltrust.org.uk

Website:
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/red-house
Opening times:

Wednesday - Sunday, 11am - 5pm

Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

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