Conservation building works at Red House

Conservation building work at Red House

If you’re visiting us over the next few weeks you will see some building work taking place.

We are currently having our systems upgraded. Although this isn’t a very glamourous project it is an essential bit of work that will help us continue to care for this special place.

Red House was built in 1859 for William Morris and his small family. Over the years Red House has changed hands playing host to different families, the Assistance Board during the Second World War and now as a National Trust property it welcomes nearly 20,000 visitors a year.

The project happening at the moment is part of rolling works that keep Red House in the best possible condition. 

What’s going on?

We are digging trenches around all sides of the house (almost a medieval moat!) to upgrade our drainage system, and improve water usage at Red House.

This is also an opportunity for us to find out more about the history of the site, and particularly the garden. Archaeologist Gary has been inspecting the trenches for interesting finds – although no ancient pottery – we have been able to ascertain where garden paths originally ran.

This information will help us when re-instating the paths once the work is finished. We will re-use the original bricks and traditional pointing when we re-lay the paths, once laid you may see them covered in hessian and straw while the mortar sets.

Planning a visit

We are a bit muddier than usual, but still open for visitors. The works will not affect visits inside of the house, and the orchard, bowling green and vegetable patch are still accessible in the gardens.

If you are coming for our Winter Wassail or other Christmas events these will all take place inside the house or in the orchard. 

If you have any queries about visitor access during the works you can contact the property directly on 0208 303 6359 or email