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Type:Towns & Villages

Kelmscott, Lechlade, Gloucestershire, GL7 3HG


Kelmscott is a small very rural village on the north bank of the River Thames in West Oxfordshire, close to the Gloucestershire border and about 2.5 miles east of Lechlade.

There is a local public house and a church, but no shops or public transport. The earliest surviving building is the chapel, built in the 12th century or earlier at the northern end of the village and now  St. George’s Church. The inner porch doorway and nave are predominantly Norman, and the Sanctus bellcote has one of the oldest bells in England, early 13th century. Since the middle of the 16th century it has remained virtually unaltered. William Morris made sure that some restoration carried out in the late 19th century did little to spoil the medieval character of the church. Morris is buried in the grounds of the church with his wife Jane and children Jenny and Mary.

In the village there are cottages designed by Webb and Gimson, and the Morris Memorial Hall (also designed by Gimson). Next to the pub, The Plough Inn, are the remains of a 14th or 15th century cross.

William Morris, writer, designer and socialist, founder of the Arts and Crafts movement, called the village of Kelmscott 'a heaven on Earth'. It was his summer home, a grade 1 listed Tudor manor house, on the banks of the Thames, Kelmscott Manor. It dates from 1570 and contains furniture, original textiles, pictures, carpets, ceramics and metalwork of Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. Morris signed a joint lease for the property with his friend and colleague Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the Pre-Raphaelite artist.

Kelmscott Manor is open to the public every Wednesday and Saturday between April and October.


Map & Directions

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