Last week I spent a delightful sunny afternoon visiting Red House, the former home of William Morris, in Bexleyheath, South London. It is so called because of the colour of its bricks and is considered to be one of the first Arts and Craft style buildings.
William Morris (1834 – 1896) was one of those Victorian gentlemen who was an all rounder and talented in many fields. He was an artist, textile designer, author, business man and socialist. Morris is famous for saying “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” and he invited his friends to decorate his home. Today the House is managed by the National Trust and inside little of the original furnishings remain.
Red House was the only home that William Morris lived in which was specially built for him. The house was designed by his friend Philip Speakman Webb. When the house was built in 1859 – 60 it was surrounded by countryside but today it is surrounded by other houses.
Morris and Jane spent their early married lives living here and during that time their daughters, Jenny and May, were born. However the family only lived in the house for about five years.
The garden was considered to be a series of external rooms of the house which was a radical idea at the time. There are mature trees, plants, shrubs and a vegetable garden with Will the scarecrow.
Address: Red House, Red House Lane, Bexleyheath, London, DA6 8JF
Nearest Train Station: Bexleyheath (Train from London Bridge). The station is in Travelcard Zone 5. Red House is signposted from Bexleyheath Station and is then 15 – 20 minute easy walk.
Opening Hours: Please check website for up to date details before travelling.
Prices: Please check website for details.
Tea room available
If you enjoyed this you might like reading my blog about the beautiful art deco styled Eltham Palace.
The author of this blog is a qualified City of London and City of Westminster Tour Guide who leads guided walks combining world famous landmarks with hidden treasures often missed by the crowds.