Sunday, 10 August 2008

Kelmscott and William Morris

''Kelmscott. In the reedy meadows of the upper Thames lies a straggling village forever connected with the name of William Morris, whose lovely house is it's true heart. It is an Elizabethan manor house of tender grey stone, sheltering behind high walls, so that only the peaked gables, topped by stone balls can be seen from the lane. The gardens seem haunted by the spirit of the poet.''

I'm quoting here from my 1942 copy of Arthur Mees' 'Kings England, Oxfordshire' and I do apologise for the picture above, bit of a tussle with the scanner. . .
This area has lots of connections with the Arts and Crafts Movement and Kelmscott in particular is a journey back to those days.
Just about 50 yards down the lane from William Morris' house, is the river Thames and I believe an early morning walk in August is the best time to explore, especially when it's a misty morning.
The fields along the river banks are still and quiet.
Peace. Just me, the birds singing, the water lapping and any minute now , when she's finished chasing rabbits, Rowan.

20 comments:

paulahewitt said...

what a wonderful place to live! i love the photos of the dried seed heads/flowers - not sure what they are called.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thank you, Annette... So delightful, beautiful and serene... gorgeous photographs!!!!

I love the story of the life of William Morris... He is a huge inspiration for me...

Miriam said...

Hi Kate,
the fairy boots are just divine.
Loving the william morris business too.
several of my recent 'poppy' prints are ispired by that very man.
Thanks for your comment on my very fresh and newborn blog.
mim :)

Arija said...

The summer seems quite advanced, quite autumnal in fact. Love misty meadows. Seed heads of Queen Anne's lace?, or carrot family?
Lovely snippet on William Morris too.

Annette said...

Paula - Thanks,yes, it is lovely and when it keeps on raining, I remind myself of that!
I think the seed heads are Cow Parsley or one of that family.

Gwen - W.M. was certainly a fascinating chap. I think I can feel a 'Morris' posting coming on.

Mim - Hi! thanks. Your blog's looking great!

Arija - Thank you. I think the seed heads are Cow Parsley or something similar.
Yes, that morning was definately one borrowed from September. I love September mornings, hmmm. . .

Sue said...

Such beautiful, atmospheric pictures. I have long had a spiritual love affair with William Morris - we share a birthplace - and I love Kelmscott, too.

em said...

Beautiful!
Margaretha

Jo Horswill said...

Hi Annette,
Just the sort of wonderful home I thought William Morris would have lived in!
Love all your calming images...
The last 3 are a stunning trio, would look beautiful mounted together.

lynne h said...

annette, as always, wonderful... your photos have a quality that makes me feel like i'm stepping right into your world. just what particular magic do you use to do this? : )

my hero is william morris the (modern day) glass artist... he's got the magic too...

Annette said...

Sue - thank you for visiting me. Yes, this is certainly a beautiful part of the world.

Margaretha - Hi and Thank you!

Jo - Has your snowman melted yet?
I can't describe how magical Kelmscott is,it has a unique atmosphere.I will try to post some more pictures soon.
Thanks for your words about the photos. I had thought I might do an embroidery from them but ,in truth I like your idea of mounting them together.Here goes!

Lynne - you are so kind!Thank you.
Have you seen a picture of the amazing window Burne Jones and Morris did at Bloxham church?I'll try to find it and send it to you.

Ravenhill said...

What a delightful early morning walk! Thank you for sharing these fantastic scenes with us.
~Emily

Annette said...

Emily, you are most welcome. Come with me next time!

Annette said...

Lynne , Oops! I just realised (bit slow here)that you didn't mean William Morris but William Morris (born in 1950s, maker of brilliant glass art).So you may not be too interested in the window in Bloxham church.Now I feel really thick!

lynne h said...

hi annette, i think i found it here... http://www.victorianart.btinternet.co.uk/va-web/wm/morris_cotswolds.htm
is that it? i wish i could click on it for a closer look. it's stunning even from this distance. i'm *glad* you thought i meant 'your' william morris because now i've learned something new. i didn't know he worked in glass and it's so lovely... both w.m.'s have the magic!!

sharon young said...

Lovely post, Annette, seems I'm not the only one to love all things WM. I've never been to Kelmscott, but I think it'll be a must now. Lovely pics too.

Annette said...

Sharon - Thank you, you will love a visit to Kelmscott, Check first because WM's place is only open on a few days.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Thanks so much for these photos! William Morris is a hero of mine and I've yet to visit Kelmscott, so this was a treat.

I do love your blog! And Edward sends his greetings to Rowan.

Annette said...

Pamela - thank you, you're very kind! The Arts and Crafts Movement was very active in this area, so when you come, there's lots to see.
Rowan would love to chase sticks with Edward and sends her love.

Nan said...

Could you just zoom me over, please?!

annette emms said...

Nan - I'm pressing the button now, hold tight! Would you like the full guided tour?