Saturday, 14 July 2012

Kelmscott Manor

On one of the few sunny days of the summer so far, we visited Kelmscott Manor, the former home of William Morris. The Oxfordshire Cotswolds visitor guide describes the village of Kelmscott as 'remote'. Maybe in William Morris' day, but now it's close to lots of other tourist destinations. However, it is reached via single track roads which I'm not too keen on, being a townie and not used to country lanes.

The car park is about a 10 minute walk away, though this is not too much of a hardship as it simply means you have to walk through the lovely village with its picture postcard cottages and flower-filled gardens.

Once inside the house, you can see why William Morris and his family loved it so much with its flagstone floors, beamed ceilings and large fireplaces. It has that indefinable 'feel' which makes you feel warm and welcome. Many of the rooms are decorated with wallpaper and fabrics designed by Morris and they still look fresh and contemporary. I wouldn't normally choose such busy patterns myself but, having seen them used in a room, I was surprised by how much I liked them.
The gardens are equally lovely and the only part of the site where you can take photos, though there are interior photos on the web site. Well worth a visit and we overheard several people say they were combining it with a visit to the National Trust propery, Buscot Park.

We walked back to the car park via the churchyard where Morris, his wife and daughters are buried. The grave is tucked away behind a bush so is difficult to spot, and the writing on the tomb is slowly being worn away by the weather.

On the way home, we called in at Aston Pottery which has a large range of pottery decorated with plants and wildlife.

I treated myself to this chicken mug which I love and have been using every day since!

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