William Morris Gallery
The William Morris Gallery is housed in a Georgian house, built in the 1740s and set in Lloyd Park in Walthamstow, in north-east London. The grade II* listed building was Morris’s family home from 1848 to 1856. The only public Gallery devoted to William Morris, it reopened in August 2012 following a major redevelopment.
The building is a fine example of Georgian domestic architecture dating from about 1744 (the date scratched on a brick found in the upper east wall). Records indicate that there was a house on the site – or perhaps on the moated ‘island’ to the rear of the present house – as far back as the fifteenth century. The existing house was variously known in its earlier history as The Winns or Water House, the latter name deriving from the ornamental moat in the gardens at the back of the house.
A map drawn in 1758 shows the building with its original east and west wings, but without the two semi-circular bays on the south front which were added some thirty or forty years later. The east wing was demolished in the early 1900s, but a new extension was built upon the same site in 2012 as part of the William Morris Gallery development project.
One of the finest features of the exterior is the Corinthian-style porch, its fluted columns and elaborately carved capitals executed in timber, with rosettes used as decorative motifs on the canopy soffit. The original windows on the front elevation (those in the three centre bays) have architraves. These, together with the use of band- or string-courses and the upper cornice – added at the same time as the two semi-circular bays – were intended to give order and symmetry to the façade of the building.
From 1848 to 1856, the house was the family home of William Morris (1834-1896), the designer, craftsman, writer, conservationist and socialist. Morris lived here with his widowed mother and his eight brothers and sisters from the age of fourteen until he was twenty-two.
The young Morrises used the garden moat for boating and fishing in summer and for ice-skating in winter. One of William’s younger brothers, Thomas Rendal Morris, briefly ‘marooned’ himself on the island after reading Robinson Crusoe, but soon crept back into the house when night began to fall.
William Morris wrote some of his earliest poetry seated in the tall window on the main staircase, and his friend Edward Burne-Jones, on a visit to the Morrises in the 1850s, painted studies of the trees on the island.
We have a lot more Museums for you to look at in our directory.
- Address: Lloyd Park, Forest Road Walthamstow, London, E17 4PP
- Phone: 020 8496 4390
- Website: http://www.wmgallery.org.uk/home
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Get there by bus: 34, 97, 215, 275, or 357
- Get there by tube/train: Walthamstow Central, Blackhorse Road(Victoria Line, Overground)
- Wheelchair access: Yes
The William Morris Gallery is fully accessible, with an accessible entrance, accessible toilets and lift access to all floors.
We have three Blue Badge parking bays. Access is via Forest Road. The Gallery gates are kept locked to prevent unauthorised parking. Blue badge holders are therefore asked to call the Gallery on 020 8496 1470 when they arrive and someone will come and let you in. If you don't have a mobile phone you can call us in advance so we know to expect you.
- Monday Closed
- Tuesday Closed
- Wednesday 10am–5pm
- Thursday 10am–5pm
- Friday 10am–5pm
- Saturday 10am–5pm
- Sunday 10am–5pm