Red House – the fascinating bits (London)

Last April, on our way back to a windy first visit to RHS Hyde Hall in Essex, we crossed the Dartmouth Crossing for the first time (and stressed a bit later on about whether we’d done the right thing to pay the toll), calling in at Red House on our way back into Central London.

D hadn’t been before, and I think I was last there in 2009 (it was summer, I cycled and I took a guided tour of the house).

This house is of course the first home that the 19th century designer, furniture maker, socialist, and founder of SPAB, William Morris commissioned.  His friend Philip Webb co-designed the house.   However, finances dictated a move from Red House only five years after it was built.

The National Trust have owned the property since 2003, with the story being told that of the Morrises and their entourage.

I was intrigued by the punched wood boarding that coated many of the surfaces, allowing anyone who as staying at the house to help out with the decoration, in a grand “painting by numbers (or dots)” type approach.

The rooms are quite empty, and while I appreciate the architecture, this is a house that I think should be lived in again, like the private home that it was from 1860 to 2002.

When visited: April 2016

I also visited Emery Walker’s House in 2012.  Click the link to read my post.

Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/red-house

See also http://www.bexley.gov.uk/article/10725/The-Story-of-William-Morris-and-the-Red-House

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3 thoughts on “Red House – the fascinating bits (London)

  1. good morning, thank you for sharing this post. it’s fascinating. can you elaborate on the “punched wood boarding”? what does that mean? d.

    1. Hi Dean – If you zoom in on the picture, you’ll see that instead of smooth plaster board, the roof is covered in a sort of peg board, covered in equally spaced holes, which could be used to space out a repeat pattern and allow anyone to help paint the designs in the interior.

  2. As you pointed out, and as I noticed myself, the inside of the home is quite unfurnished and undecorated, relative to its lived-in state. But look at the exterior! It is the most complete, medieval, gothic, red brick, tiled house with complete window treatment. Strange!

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