Category Archives: Architecture

Red House

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Yesterday we were in Bexleyheath, and went knocking at Red House, the home of pattern designer William Morris.  He sadly wasn’t in! But we made do with the friendly tour guide…

Morris commissioned and built the house in the 1850’s, but only lived there until 1865 when he left to set up his business, ‘Morris & Company,’ in central London.

The building, quite obviously, gets its name from the red brick, and the design was strongly influenced by French Chateaus and Kentish Oast houses…

Inside the house are many of the original features that were designed by both William Morris and his friend Philip Webb, including these cute stained glass windows…

  

The ceiling designs were particularly impressive, with very bold colours and pattern…

Restoration of the original interior decoration is still taking place but it is exciting to think what all the rooms are hiding behind their panels…

Throughout the house were many example of Morris’s designs which I shall share with you in a separate post – there are quite a few!  For now, here is one – ‘Apple’ which is the wallpaper in the hallway…

 If you are a William Morris fan I would definitely recommend a visit! 🙂

Portmeirion

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We spent the bank holiday weekend camping in Snowdonia National Park in Wales, beautiful but very wet!  We decided to visit Portmeirion, on the coast in Gwynedd, and, if you are going to do anything outside in the rain, this is surely one of the better things to do…

Used as the set for the 60’s television series ‘The Prisoner,’ Portmeirion was built by Clough Williams-Ellis to show how a beautiful site could be developed without spoiling it.  He started work in 1925 and spent 50 years building it.

 

In amongst the little shops there is so much detail hidden around the place…

I loved these roses on the gates to the garden…

The village is surrounded by woodland, which hides this beautiful Chinese Lake…

May Day

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We went on a little day trip to Rochester at the weekend.  I had faint memories of going there on a school trip when I was young and wanted to see if it was as nice as I remembered. It was. Maybe even better (in spite of the rain).  Unbeknown to us, we visited during their annual May Day celebrations ‘Rochester Sweeps Festival’ and the buildings were all decorated with bunting and balloons making everything look extra special, and Morris dancers filled the streets.

I loved all the history in the town and the fact that Charles Dickens once lived, and wrote three of his books here.  (You would never have guessed from all the shop names around the place, ‘Tiny Tims,’ ‘Sweet Expectations’..!)