BY CHARLES EVANS
In 1871 William Morris fell in love with, and acquired, the grey gabled manor house lying among the Thames-side water meadows and enclosed in a romantic old garden.
It was probably built around 1570, in the style traditional of the Cotswolds, on the fringe of which it stands, in Lechlade in Oxfordshire.
But Morris’s coming is the more significant date; for it converted him, and directed the artistic revival, in the England which he represented, to the sensitive restoration of old buildings and away from the creation of a modern idiom. Whether that was a good thing or not, his tender, self-effacing care inspired two generations to preserve ancient buildings, and made of Kelmscott an exquisitely beautiful place.