Tending the Flame at Red House

The range visualisation at Red House

 Originally the kitchen of the house, the Red House café is painted in the original colour of the room, but no furniture remains from the Morris’ time. With funding from National Trust Orpington & Chislehurst Centre, craftsman Hugh Miller has been selected to create a bespoke item of furniture that will both offer practicality to the café, but also reflect the heavy range that would have stood in the fireplace originally.


Craftsman Hugh Miller in his studio
Hugh Miller in his Studio
Craftsman Hugh Miller in his studio


Based in Liverpool Hugh originally trained in architecture, a skill he now brings to the creation on bespoke furniture and art pieces. Heavily influenced by his time in Japan, Hugh is inspired by ceremonies and tradition when creating furniture.

Latest updates

29 Sep 18

Burning ceremony

The final act before installation. At an evening celebration at Red House the range will be partially burnt before it is placed in the café. "The charred timber references the cast iron of the missing Range, and the use of fire as a tool welds my design to the original, rekindling the fire of the solid-fuel stove that it once contained." – Hugh Miller. The burning represents the original range that would have stood in the spot it will now inhabit and links the creation of this piece to the craftsmanship of Red House originally. Come along to see the finished piece get its final flourish.

A detail of the burning funnel

01 Sep 18

Main construction

Based in his studio in Liverpool, Hugh will begin to create the range. The studio is located on the 2nd floor of a Victorian warehouse, where materials are hoisted up outside the building, just as they were 100 years ago. Once complete the range will be taken out in the same way.

Hugh Miller at work

04 Aug 18

Joint cutting workshop

Members of the local community and those who helped fund this project will be invited to assist in its production. The Urn, where ash collects beneath the Burn Funnel, will be made in a joint cutting workshop. This 'tends the flame' of craftsmanship by passing on skills. The off-cuts from this process provide the fuel for the partial burning of the work later on. This workshop will take place in the gardens of Red House; visitors can begin to see the piece taking shape.

Hugh Miller at work