Visiting the Picturesque Village of Kelmscott
When visiting Kelmscott Manor, the pedestrian route from the car park to the house allows you to explore the peaceful village of Kelmscott and see buildings and sites which have Morris family connections.
A couple of minutes down the sign-posted route you come to the Morris Memorial Hall. Designed by Ernest Gimson (with some re-working by his pupil Norman Jewson) this village hall was opened - after much fundraising by May Morris - in 1934, her father's centenary. George Bernard Shaw delivered the opening address. Ramsay MacDonald arrived, un-announced and had difficulty gaining entry to the packed hall!
Continuing down the lane for another few minutes (passing the stone cross base and then bearing left) you reach two cottages (semi-detached) designed by Philip Webb (commissioned by William's widow, Jane) in 1902. On the side, overlooking the road, is the famous carved stone plaque designed by George Jack, depicting Morris under a tree in the meadow.
Next to these (on the Manor side) are two 1914 cottages by Ernest Gimson, commissioned by May Morris. The left-hand one she designated the village school teacher's house.
Continue down the lane and enjoy your visit to Kelmscott Manor.
Turning right out of the Manor gates - and away from the village - you soon reach the River Thames (200 metres along a track), at about the point where Morris had his boat house. Walking up-stream or down-stream you can appreciate some of the peace and beauty which Morris enjoyed in this stretch of the river.
When ready to return to your car, retrace your steps through the lower village. At the triangle near the car park entrance, bear left, cross the road and enter the grounds of St George's Church. Here are buried all four members of the Morris family. The church itself is worth a visit, dating from the 12th C. and with wall paintings dating from the 13th C.
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