Visit the Cotswold home where William Morris created his most iconic prints | Architectural Summary

The act of discovery was another source of joy for Williams during the renovation. Thanks to Evans’ photos, the wallpapers were replaced in Jane and William’s bedrooms with new ones made by craftsmen using the original blocks from the Morris & Co. archives. In the first, Williams learned that William’s Blue Fruit was wallpapering the walls, while in the second a darker colourway of the William’s Daisy pattern (detected by a color split under the pre-existing wallpaper) was used to be as accurate as possible. Similar processes helped modify paints, papers and coatings throughout the house. In another find, the fire surround pictured in William’s bedroom was found in one of the property’s barns (presumably in storage since the 1960s) and returned to the space during renovations.

As influential as Kelmscott Manor had been on William’s artistry, Williams argues that the house further shaped the designer’s passion for preserving historic buildings. “Morris founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1877 because he saw the churches of Kelmscott being, in his own words, ‘desecrated and modernized,'” says Williams. The house reflects Jane and May’s continuation of William’s creative and philanthropic legacy – their own embroideries are on display throughout – and the village of Kelmscott is dotted with buildings, such as the Memorial and Manor Cottages and Morris Memorial Hall, which ‘they helped establish and fund. Williams adds: “For people who truly love Morris, visiting Kelmscott is a pilgrimage.”

Photo courtesy of Society of Antiquaries of London – Kelmscott Manor

Photo courtesy of Society of Antiquaries of London – Kelmscott Manor

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