Red House Revealed conservation project

Detail of the chevron design painted on a door at Red House, London

This year we embark on an ambitious project to bring William Morris' original decoration at Red House to life.

Built by Philip Webb, Red House was the home of William Morris between 1860 and 1865. Little, however, remains from this time. Morris took the majority of furniture when he moved out and decorations by later owners hide Morris’ original schemes.

Over the last twelve years we've worked to uncover this hidden decoration from Morris’ time. Projects have included conserving the intricately detailed Edward Burne-Jones wall-painting, cleaning the soot-stained ceiling decoration and uncovering a mural hidden behind a modern wardrobe in Morris’ bedroom.

Discover the wall painting in the bedroom at Red House
Wall painting in the bedroom at Red House

This year the we're embarking upon an ambitious conservation project to uncover the rest of Red House’s secrets.

The original waiting room for the house will be opened for the first time, dressed as architect Philip Webb’s office at the time of him building Red House. Highlights include Webb’s specially designed plan chest and impressive wine cooler, both on loan from the Emery Walker’s House at 7 Hammersmith  Terrace.

Specialist tours will allow you to look behind the wallpaper and gain a deeper understanding of Morris’ intended decorative schemes for Red House.

Later in the year you'll find an installation using light and projection to re-create one of Morris’ intended decorative schemes, the embroidered ‘honourable women’ in the drawing room.

" With the arrogance of youth, I determined to do no less than to transform the world with beauty. If I have succeeded in some small way, if only in one small corner of the world, amongst the men and women I love, then I shall count myself blessed."
- William Morris

This year of discovery is not just confined to the house. The garden too has secrets to tell. Join us on garden tours, running throughout the summer to uncover the ghost of a garden that Morris and his family left behind. From clues left in soil and stone we can conjure up a picture of Red House’s garden in its heyday.

Red House Revealed events and activities will run throughout the year offering you the chance to uncover Red House yourself. Visit our What’s On pages to find out more.