Spring visit to William Morris’s House at Kelmscott 春に訪れるケルムスコットのウィリアム.モリスの家

I visited William Morris’s house at Kelmscott today: Kelmscott Manor. The village is beautiful in its own right, a group of farm and other houses just outside the larger town of Lechlade in the Cotswolds. We parked the car some distance away, to leave a walk past cottage gardens and farm animals.



It was  a typical April day of sunshine and showers. Perfect.


Kelmscott Manor itself dates back to the 16th century and William Morris rented it (with the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti) in the 1870s. The house that you see now has been added to over the years of course, but it certainly has a special character. It is beautifully looked after, with restored gardens – one of my favourite places to visit.

ケルムスコットの建物自体は16世紀に遡るがウィリアム.モリスが(画家ダンテ.ガブリエル.ロゼッティと共に)借りたのは1870年代のことであった。現在の家はもちろん長年の間に増築されているが、個性をもった建物であることに変わりはない。修復されたガーデンと共に建物は完璧に維持、管理されているのだ。 ― 私が気に入っている場所のひとつだ。

Morris’s interests were politics and the pursuit of a social utopia through an interest in honest labour, interior design, crafts and the conservation of buildings. Kelmscott was the embodiment of these ideas for Morris.


In the gardens you can still find the inspiration for many of Morris’s designs and in the house there are woodblocks, tiles, furniture and artefacts associated with the life and work of Morris, Rossetti and other visitors to the house.


There is a bitter-sweet element to the story of Kelmscott, reflecting the relationship that developed between Morris’s wife, Jane and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Morris spent time away from Kelmscott, deliberately so because of the relationship.


Approaching the house you see the famous front view.


There are usually timed tickets as the house is popular – and the rooms inside are quite small.  You can walk through three floors of the house at your own speed with a printed guide and there are volunteers in each room to answer any questions. You’ll see familiar designs such as ‘Strawberry Thief,’ ‘Millefleurs’ and ‘Willow Boughs’ decorating the rooms. The managers of the property have taken care to keep the rooms as authentic and well-preserved as possible.

建物はその人気故に訪れる人も多く ー そして中の部屋はかなり小さいので ー 通常は入場は時間制になっている。建物は3階建で、自分に合った速度で内部をじっくり見学することができる。印刷さたれインフォメーションシートが支給され(出る際にに返却)、また各部屋にいるボランティアはどんな質問にも答えてくれる。それぞれの部屋には‘いちご泥棒’‘ミル.フラー(タペストリー用)’や‘柳’などモリスの馴染み深いデザインが見られるが、館の責任者は出来る限りオリジナルに忠実に、そして保存状態を良く保つことを心がけているようだ。

To me, the highlight is Rossetti’s arresting portrait of Jane Morris The Blue Silk Dress which hangs in the ‘White Room’.



(No photography is allowed inside the house, by the way. This picture is by courtesy of the Society of Antiquaries of London, which manages Kelmscott)


When visiting it’s important to spend as much time outside as in, I think. the gardens are inspiring, even on a rainy day.




I think Kelmcott Manor should be on the itinerary for any Cotswolds visitor. Even the gift shop is a bit special – I couldn’t resist this hare design bowl… not Morris of course, but hand-made and looking good. Of course, we also bought paper and cards with Morris designs.



There’s a pleasant tea room on site and a pub in the village.


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