Red House in London

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Red House in Bexleyheath in southeast London, England, is a major building of the history of the Arts and Crafts style and of 19th century British architecture. It was designed during 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 red brick with a steep tiled roof and an emphasis on natural materials. Red House is in a non-historical, brick-and-tile domestic style. It is now a Grade I listed building.

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 like an integral part of the house. The "rooms" consisted of a herb garden, a vegetable garden, and two rooms full of old-fashioned flowers — jasmine, lavender, quinces, and an abundance of fruit trees — apple, pear and cherry.

Morris lived with Jane in the house for only five years, during which time their two daughters, Jenny and May, were born. Forced to sell the house for financial reasons during 1865, Morris vowed never to return to it. 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. The architect Sir Edward Maufe, famous for designing Guildford Cathedral, lived in the house with his parents, Henry Maufe and his wife Maude from 1903. Henry Maufe died in the house in 1910 and Maude remained there until her death in 1919. During 1952, Ted and Doris Hollamby relocated 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 during 2002 and is performing further restoration and research to restore the house as much as possible to its original condition. The house is open to the public, but not every day; guided tours must be advance-booked and unguided visits are available for limited periods. Current information from National Trust link below. There is a tea room and a gift shop.

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