Red House (London)

Red House (London)

Infobox UKproperty
property_name = Red House
imgage_name = The Red House, Bexleyheath.jpg
image_size = 200px
caption = View of Red House from the garden
type = Historic house
Managed =
area =
main = William Morris
other = Arts and Crafts
public_access = Yes
museum =
exhibition = Yes
country =
region = Greater London
gridSquare =
address = Red House Lane
postcode = Bexleyheath DA6
refreshments = Yes
parking = On street
shop = Yes
webAddress = [ NT Red House]
co_ord =coord|51|27|20|N|0|7|49|E|display=inline,title|region:GB_type:landmark

Red House in Upton, Bexleyheath in the southern suburbs of London, England is a key building in the history of the Arts and Crafts movement and of 19th century British architecture. It was designed in 1859 by its owner, William Morris, and the architect Philip Webb, with wall paintings and stained glass by Edward Burne-Jones. Morris wanted a home for himself and his new wife, Jane. He also desired to have a "Palace of Art" in which he and his friends could enjoy producing works of art. The house is of warm red brick with a steep tiled roof and an emphasis on natural materials.

The garden is also significant, being an early example of the idea of a garden as a series of exterior "rooms". Morris wanted the garden to be an integral part of the house, providing a seamless experience. The "rooms" consisted of a herb garden, a vegetable garden, and two rooms full of old-fashioned flowers — jasmine, lavender, roses, and an abundance of fruit trees — apple, pear and quince.

Morris lived with Jane in the house for only five years, during which time their two daughters, Jenny and May, were born. Forced to give up the house for financial reasons in 1865, Morris vowed upon leaving never to return. He said that to see the house again would be more than he could bear.

The house was lived in as a family home for nearly 150 years. Yorkshire-born draper Henry Maufe lived here with his wife Maude from 1903 until his death in 1910, his widow remaining at the house until 1919. In 1952, Ted and Doris Hollamby moved into Red House; they, along with the members of two other families, the Toms and the McDonalds, restored the house and reinstated many of the original arts and crafts features.

The National Trust acquired Red House in 2003 and is carrying out further restoration and research to restore the house as closely as possible to its original condition. The house is open to the public, but at present visits are by guided tour only and must be booked in advance. There is a tea room and a gift shop.

External links

* [ Red House information at the National Trust]
* [ A tribute to Ted & Doris Hollamby's stewardship of Red House]
* [ Friends of Red House]

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