Red House is the iconic Arts and Crafts home of William Morris - writer, artist, craftsman and socialist.
Red House is the only house to have been created by the great designer and he moved here as a young man in 186o, with his new wife Janey Burden. Built for Morris by his friend Philip Webb, the house is a romantic essay in medieval-Gothic style, complete with steep red tiled roofs, higgledy piggledy layout, tiled fireplaces and, yes, a lot of red brick.
The interiors are not fully furnished but the original Arts & Crafts features, together with the odd piece of furniture by Webb and Morris and wall-paintings by Burne-Jones help to compensate. It was at Red House that Morris began to work as a designer and examples of his famous wallpaper designs, like 'Trellis' and 'Daisy' are also displayed (`Trellis' was his first ever wallpaper and was used at Red House before Morris moved out in 1865).
The surrounding garden was a source of inspiration for Morris and today is something of a green oasis in suburban Bexleyheath, with its lovely old espaliered pears against the house, ancient apple orchard, croquet lawn and a productive vegetable garden. The café has recently moved into Morris' brightly coloured old kitchen, larder and pantry and serves light lunches, tea, coffee and cake on stylish blue and white crockery inspired by Janey Morris. The gift shop has been relocated to the more spacious surrounds of the Coach House, and is well stocked with Morris merchandise.