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William Morris’s house for the National Trust?

National Trust considers acquiring the Red House, Bexleyheath

London

The National Trust is considering acquiring the Red House, the former home of William Morris. Built in 1859, in the London suburb of Bexleyheath, it was designed for Morris by his friend Philip Webb. It still has furnishings and decorations by Rossetti and Burne-Jones, and both the house and garden have remained fundamentally unchanged since Morris left in 1865. Since 1952 the Red House has been lovingly looked after by architect Edward Hollamby, who died three years ago, and his widow and their family now wish to sell. Although the Hollambys would prefer the Red House to be properly preserved and open to the public, they have given heritage bodies a deadline which is believed to be the end of this month. Although difficult to value, the property could be worth up to £2 million, including furniture and decorations now regarded as fittings. The National Trust is currently in discussions with other groups, including the William Morris Society and the Landmark Trust, to secure the future of the Red House, which it acknowledges is of “great importance in the development of the Arts and Crafts movement”.