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Visit to Kelmscott Manor and Buscot Park

On 9th May a group of Bristol Soroptimists enjoyed a very convivial day visit to Kelmscott Manor (a grade l listed house dating from around 1570) and Buscot Park, both situated near the river Thames and Lechlade. The visit was beautifully organised by Lucy.

Kelmscott Manor was the inspirational Cotswold retreat of William Morris and his family – poet and craftsman from 1871 to his death in 1896. He described Kelmscott as ‘heaven on earth’, with good reason. He signed a joint lease for the property with his friend and colleague Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the Pre-Raphaelite artist.

The house contains an outstanding collection of the possessions and works of Morris, as well as of his family and associates (Benson, Edward Burne-Jones, Rossetti and Webb among them) that includes furniture, original textiles, pictures and paintings, carpets, ceramics and metalwork. It holds a beautiful English style garden which is evocative of Morris’ works.

Buscot Park was built around the 1780s for a local landowner, Edward Loveden Townsend and purchased in 1889 by Lord Faringdon’s great grandfather. The house holds the Faringdon Collection (with works by Rembrandt, Rossetti and Burne-Jones’ famous series, The Legend of the Briar Rose). Harold Peto was commissioned to design the famous Italianate water gardens.

The choice of venues for our visit was excellent and a very worthwhile trip.