News, Thoughts, Work, Workshops

‘Heaven on Earth’…

Kelmscott Manor was the country home of William Morris and his family. And what a place! William Morris called it ‘Heaven on Earth’ and it was not only a retreat but an inspiration. It is set in the Oxfordshire countryside, just outside Lechlade and about half an hour from Swindon. Set very close to the river Thames, Morris’ ideas flowed from here to London and in reverse. It is a stimulation for creativity and a window into the world of Morris and the Arts and Craft movement. The stories that the place unlocks allows us to connect to William Morris’ writing and vision.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”

William Morris

Within the grounds and the beautiful farmhouse there are fragments of the lives of William, his wife Jane and their daughters Jenny and May, but also some of the outstanding work that developed and left legacy from William, Jane, and May.

William Morris is known for his wallpaper, designs, and the quote “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”, but there is so much more to this visionary and the legacy that Kelmscott sheds a light on to.

I have been lucky to visit the manor and grounds on a few occasions. Last year I created stories connected to Morris and performed Storytelling there, this year I am planning my next visit and project, where I will be working with others to unlock the stories of the past and use them for the present. His poetry, the patterns, the travels, the crafts, the tales and the sheer magnitude of this heritage is bubbling over in my mind. I will keep you posted. In the meantime please do check out the website,   where there is a wonderful virtual tour and tantalising inspiration to support your creativity.

William Morris. Kelmscott Manor. Arts and Crafts.