Kelmscott Manor
Kelmscott Manor
4.5
Speciality MuseumsHistoric SitesArt Museums
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
This Tudor farmhouse, located adjacent to the River Thames, was built of local limestone in 1570. Later, the Manor became the Cotswold retreat of Victorian designer, campaigner, socialist, author, William Morris and his family, friends and colleagues. When Morris first saw the Manor in 1871, he was delighted by this 'loveliest haunt of ancient peace'; he signed a joint lease for the property with his friend and colleague Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the Pre-Raphaelite artist. The Manor is open from April to the end of October on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

Top ways to experience Kelmscott Manor and nearby attractions

See what travelers are saying
  • Patricia B
    Borough of Brentwood, United Kingdom34 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Victorian Inspiration
    We visited on a Wednesday as part of a Tour Group. A quality Lunch was laid on in the Barn as part of our organised visit. The home made biscuits for morning coffee were divine. The house is owned by the Society of Antiquaries and benefitted from a lottery grant to restore the legacy of William Morris. The tour guides are very knowledgeable about WM, his family and the Arts and Crafts movement. The garden where he drew his inspiration is free to explore. Situated in a small village there is car park a short stroll away with a free mini bus for those who require assistance. The family grave is in the Church yard near the Car Park. Kelmscott is well worth a visit if you are interested in Morris and by association the Pre Raphaelites. Everyone on site was keen to share their enthusiasm and there was a gift shop where I happily bought a Tea Towel Gift…100% Linen and Made in the UK.
    Thank you for your review. We are delighted you enjoyed your coach group visit.
    Written October 17, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 27, 2023
  • Daryl C
    25 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A very enjoyable visit.
    I`m a huge Morris/Arts & Crafts/ Pre Raphs fan, so having been to his birthplace in Walthamstow, Kelmscott House in Hammersmith, and The Red House in Bexleyheath, this was a must. I can see why Morris chose Kelmscott Manor, it`s in a lovely setting, a short walk from the car park, which somehow adds to the experience. I had pre booked on-line and the pdf was scanned on arrival at my allotted time. I was not disappointed by the house and garden and the exhibits, and the guides were friendly and keen to share their knowledge. I would n`t have known where the Morris grave is for example ( in the churchyard by the carpark). I really enjoyed my visit.
    Thank you for your review. We are delighted you enjoyed your visit.
    Written October 17, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 19, 2023
  • Gastrogran
    Somerset, United Kingdom15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A tribute to all concerned.
    The first time we had visited since the refurbishment. What a wonderful experience. The walk from the car park is a must (it does take about 10 minutes but is all on the flat) as it sets the scene for this remote manor farm in its unspoilt landscape. The absence of cars parked all around is a great joy. The garden is charming, slightly unkempt but productive (medlars and quinces when we visited). The sense of the Morris family is everywhere, their taste and talents, their socialist views, their humour and love of animals (see the lovely story boards in the old stable ). Much more is made of the Morris women now - which has been long overdue. Excellent shop and tea room. A buggy back to the car park - all a wondefully inspiring few hours. Thank you.
    Thank you for your five star review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your visit and what we have achieved with the refurbishment. Over the next few years we will be highlighting more of May & Jane Morris so we hope you will return again in the future.
    Written October 17, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 1, 2023
  • gfsc5
    Perth, Australia1,786 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    William Morris
    A great place to visit if you're a fan of William Morris of wallpaper, curtains, design fame. Lots and lots of examples throughout Kelmscott Manor where he lived with his family and, for a while, his wife's lover. It's sort of timed entry but when we arrived for the opening - we had booked the time specifically - everyone who was around seemed to be given the ok to enter. They did try to restrict how many people went in at once but it clogged up in the first room. There were volunteer guides in each room but they varied in quality. A couple seemed to be interested in only showing one person at a time, in detail, things of interest. There wasn't a lot of guide material if you wanted to explore things yourself, either. A tad disappointing. The grounds are fairly extensive and we had a good wander around them before the house opened. And the shop was very good. My wife spent a fortune. An interesting place and an interesting story. It just could have been done a bit better in the house.
    Thank you for your review. We are pleased you enjoyed your visit but are not sure what happened when you entered the house. We allow 20 people to enter the house every 15 minutes so that the rooms do not get overcrowded but most people arrive at their allotted time and, if some wait five more minutes, then usually the first room is less busy. The stewards in each room are all volunteers who have training and notes to answer most questions from visitors. We try to get away from labels on all our collection as we want visitors to see the rooms as they were in William and May Morris's time. However, we are also investigating more ways for visitors to be able to engage with the collection and hope that this will be in place soon.
    Written May 25, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 27, 2024
  • Beverly S
    Concord, California107 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    For William Morris fans
    I love William Morris fabrics, so this place has been on my bucket list for a while. It's definitely off the beaten track; literally in fact. We had to drive down a farm track to Kelmscott village and park at the church, then it's a 10 minute walk to the house. The walk is lovely, though, and we were lucky to have beautiful weather. The house and grounds are gorgeous. Docents are in every room, and they are very well informed and enthusiastic. There is a nice little cafe there, and I had a really good plowman's lunch. The gift shop is good too.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written May 25, 2024
  • dguest2016
    Eynsham, United Kingdom3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Top-class attendants
    The high point of a visit to Kelmscott Manor, for me, was the contribution of the attendants. In every room, without being intrusive they were always willing to engage with visitors. The information they supplied was invariably instructive and occasionally amusing. I imagine they are all volunteers; it is impossible to speak too highly of them.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written June 4, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles407 reviews
Excellent
254
Very good
110
Average
30
Poor
7
Terrible
6

Nitramnotsa
St. George's, Grenada28 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
Having visited at various times prior to the restoration, refurbishment and additions I was somewhat disapointed by my most recent experience. Much of the charm and homliness of the house has been lost to the apparent need to increase visitor numbers.
Yes there is a flavour of Morris and the family and a few items and decorative features but the cosy, relaxed atmosphere seems to be gone.
Though not extensive the gardens are still lovely and there is plenty of space outdoors.
Food offering is limited and the shop seems to sell Morris related items that are widely available elsewhere.

The village still retains a very rural feel with the farms and cottages scattered about. There is a very pleasant circular walk by turnining right out of the Manor and then right again at the river, following upstream to the small marina and then right again across the fields, emerging behind the Plough public house.
Food at the Plough is good but on the expensive side.
Highlight for me was a visit to the Grade II listed Morris Memorial Hall on the way back to the Church and car park.

The hall was designed by Arts and Crafts architect Ernest Gimson in 1919 at the request of May, dughter of Morris. It was funded by donations from prominent folk of the time and was constructed between 1933 and the opening in 1934.
It is built from mostly local materials and retains many of the original features.

I visited on a Thursday and was delighted to find a craft fair [Thursdays only apparently] being held inside.
All local crafts people selling a variety of quality items, some with a nod to Morris.
Written September 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review. We are saddened to hear that you were disappointed with you recent visit and that you felt that much of the charm and homeliness of the house has been lost. In redisplaying the collection our aim was to try to put the rooms back as much as possible to how they were when May Morris lived in the manor. We used our photo archive as well as a lot of research to try to make the place feel like a home rather than a museum. Unfortunately we have not been able to always open all our rooms fully on some days due to a lack of available volunteers so in some cases we are having to rope off a couple of rooms when this is the case. This has not been done in order to increase visitor numbers as our maximum daily visitors are lower than previously because we are now open more days during the open season. We think that this has made the visit more enjoyable for our visitors, volunteers and the collection. We will be looking at our food offer for our open season next year and will also be launching an online shop for people to buy exclusive Manor items.
Written September 23, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

truthtime1
uk62 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Couples
While we are all aware that William Morris's ethos was that one should "have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." I still found Kelmscott shockingly stark, vacuous, cold and unhomely with only the barest of furnishing. Some Morris wallpaper but other rooms had bare walls! Hardly any artwork and, unbelievably lacking any information about the Pre-Raphaelites with whom William Morris had a very long and close association. No explanation as to why Rossetti lived there in the sumer with the Morris family (or his very close relationship with Moris's wife, Jane) using 2 of the few rooms in the house as his art studios apparently - not that you'd ever guess when in them! An example of yet another NT-like body dumbing down historic and artistic information. A welcoming introductory video about Morris, Kelmscott, his work and life is desperately needed but sadly lacking. Seemingly concerned instead solely with the preservation and conservation of the building per se which is fine if you're visiting just for the architecture. The bed Morris was born in was there, even though he was actually born in Walthamstow! Staff pleasant but had limited knowledge about the room they were in, not that there was much in it to ask about. Gift shop totally uninspiring and understocked with Morris patterned gifts we've all seen before that can all be purchased cheaper online. Tea room and food very nice and lovely large garden to relax in on a sunny day. Free parking. Enjoyed the village and the regular Thursday craft fair in the village hall. (Perhaps that's why Thursday is the busiest day to visit) Lovely long walk along the Thames path nearby.
Written September 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review. We are sad to hear that your visit was disappointing. We have tried to recreate the rooms as they were when May Morris lived in the Manor using archive photos and documents. Many of the rooms at that time were bare and we have recreated the dark green colour that William used in some of the ground floor rooms to get them back to how William would have remembered them as much as possible. The bed that William Morris was born in is here at the Manor as his mother gave it as a gift to him when they rented the property. William's wife Jane remarked that coming to Kelmscott was 'like going on a picnic' as the rooms were sparsely furnished, A photo of the room shows this bed when William rented the manor in the 1890's. We are not a National Trust property and will be adding more information for visitors over the next few years including a research and archive room on the 1st floor.
Written October 8, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chrisgale
Sheffield, UK1,150 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Solo
I hadn't been before so I don't know how the house was before the refurbishment. I thought it was stunning, the fabric and wallpaper made in the original way have been done with such care and attention to detail. There were staff in each room who were very friendly and knowledgeable. Nice grounds, small shop and cafe. Plenty of seating. Good car park and a shuttle bus up to the house if needed. I am a Historic Houses member so I went early as I couldn't prebook a ticket. The lady on the desk was really helpful and fitted me into the first time slot, it certainly wasn't crowded. I had a really good day out and the staff should be proud of all that has been achieved.
Written October 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Many thanks for your five-star review. We are delighted you enjoyed your visit.
Written November 11, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Em
4 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Family
This is a beautiful house filled with original Morris embroidery and furniture, as well as some paintings by Rossetti. Parking is a pleasant ten minute walk from the house, but there’s a shuttle bus constantly running to take any visitors who are not up for the walk. Staff are friendly and well informed, but I felt that there needed to be a bit more information available to visitors; I left some of the rooms having seen some lovely things but not knowing the history or significance of them. A guided tour would have been ideal. That said, it is a lovely place, with a pleasant garden and a cafe to visit after you’ve looked round. If you take a picnic, you can sit next to the Thames as it runs by the house and enjoy it there!
Written August 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review. We are pleased that you enjoyed your visit. Our volunteer stewards are very knowledgeable about the collection and are happy to answer any questions you have about the collection. We will be looking at ways for visitors to discover more about the collection in the visit next year and will be expanding our online collection information system very soon.
Written September 8, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Patricia B
Borough of Brentwood, UK34 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Friends
We visited on a Wednesday as part of a Tour Group. A quality Lunch was laid on in the Barn as part of our organised visit. The home made biscuits for morning coffee were divine. The house is owned by the Society of Antiquaries and benefitted from a lottery grant to restore the legacy of William Morris. The tour guides are very knowledgeable about WM, his family and the Arts and Crafts movement. The garden where he drew his inspiration is free to explore. Situated in a small village there is car park a short stroll away with a free mini bus for those who require assistance. The family grave is in the Church yard near the Car Park. Kelmscott is well worth a visit if you are interested in Morris and by association the Pre Raphaelites. Everyone on site was keen to share their enthusiasm and there was a gift shop where I happily bought a Tea Towel Gift…100% Linen and Made in the UK.
Written August 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review. We are delighted you enjoyed your coach group visit.
Written October 17, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rose4105
Brisbane, Australia181 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
During the past 10 years I have made many appliqué quits using William Morris patterns by Michelle Hill. This visit was a dream come true for me- . Beautiful old house , sensitively restored.
Written July 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review. We are delighted you enjoyed your visit.
Written September 8, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Patricia H
Birmingham, UK6 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
Staff were welcoming and informative, and of course the exterior was as lovely as ever. But having visited several times in the past (all previous visits over ten years ago) I was profoundly disappointed by the changes that have been made to the interior. So much of the warmth I have always associated with Kelmscott Manor has been lost. I was told by the guides that the changes were made in order to comply with requirements for securing Heritage Lottery funding (which required it to be restored to reflect more closely how it would actually have looked when Morris lived there). That is all well and good, but as a result of the removal of so many of Morris & Co.'s wonderful artefacts, the spirit of what Morris was trying to achieve has somehow been lost. It has been rendered spartan, and there is no sense of its having been a 'lived in' house now at all, for me. A classic case of 'in striving to do better, oft we mar what's well,' alas!
Written July 1, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your review. We are sorry that you were disappointed with your visit as you felt that the interiors were not warm. As part of the reinterpretation of the rooms we have gone back to original sources to layout the spaces as they were when May Morris lived in the manor. This was then a family home and not a showcase of Morris and Co fabrics which you probably saw on your previous visits. We display the unique items from our collection which were handmade by William Morris, Rossetti, Jane & May Morris and others rather than the manufactured fabrics which can be found elsewhere. Contrary to what you were told, it was not a requirement for securing Heritage Lottery Funding but our decision to try to explain to our visitors what it was about Kelmscott and the surrounding landscape that inspired William, his family and associates.
Written October 17, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

marmot2000
Oxford, UK8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Friends
Kelmscott is a magical house, full of the work and spirit of William Morris and his circle. Our visit was enhanced by the lovely miniature bookmaking activity run by Jill and Helena in the beautiful Learning Barn. All the staff and volunteers are fantastic.
Written May 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your five star review. We are delighted you enjoyed your visit and the bookmaking activity in our new Learning Barn. We will be running more activities throughout the season and have plans for more events next year.
Written June 15, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

KandNAustralia
Australia117 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
The volunteers and staff were super friendly, helpful and informative. The house had been curated to be accurate to historical photos and that meant one could get a real feel for how the Morris family must have lived. The hangings, embroidery, wallpaper and furniture were captivating. Thank you for a terrific visit.
Written April 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your five star review. We are delighted you enjoyed your visit.
Written October 17, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Beverly S
Concord, CA107 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
I love William Morris fabrics, so this place has been on my bucket list for a while. It's definitely off the beaten track; literally in fact. We had to drive down a farm track to Kelmscott village and park at the church, then it's a 10 minute walk to the house. The walk is lovely, though, and we were lucky to have beautiful weather. The house and grounds are gorgeous. Docents are in every room, and they are very well informed and enthusiastic. There is a nice little cafe there, and I had a really good plowman's lunch. The gift shop is good too.
Written May 25, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 397
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Kelmscott Manor - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars