Sunday, July 21, 2013

Why did Morris leave the Red House ?

Whilst Morris enjoyed his house in Bexleyheath, `The Firm' was growing rapidly. The original members were Morris, Marshall and Faulkner, plus Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and Webb. The workshops and offices were at 8 Red Lion Square and a circular describes the firm as `Fine Art Workmen in Painting, Carving and Furniture, and the metals'. Then, on 25 March 1862, a second daughter, May, was born and Morris became busier as more commissions were received, his first wallpaper being printed in 1864. Morris found the travelling from Upton to London expensive and a strain so plans were made to move the workshops to the Red House. However, finances dictated that it was not to be. Finally in November 1865, the Morris family moved to Queen Square. His dream of creating a medieval world was gone from him forever, he never again visited the Red House.

The Red House has been used as a residence ever since Morris left and still contains much of the original decoration. A few years ago a blue plaque was erected on the house to commemorate its association with William Morris.

The National Trust purchased the house in 2003, and pre-booked guided tours are available. Please contact the Red House booking line on: 020 8304 9878

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