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Architect sought for £6m revamp of William Morris’s Thames-side home

West Oxfordshire
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The Society of Antiquaries of London is looking for an architect to carry out a £6 million overhaul of Kelmscott Manor in West Oxfordshire

The winner of the £425,000 contract will restore the Grade I-listed manor house (pictured) and surrounding estate which was home to the designer and writer William Morris from 1871 until his death in 1896.

Planned to complete in 2021, The project will restore the 16th-century house along with its Grade II-listed barns, stable and granary while also delivering a new-build kitchen, café, shop, studio, toilets, workshop and plant room.

Commenting on the project, Society of Antiquaries of London president Gill Andrews said: ‘Our vision for the finished project is that visitors to the site will be able to explore the inspirational impact that Kelmscott had on William Morris and how this manifested itself in his work, and to appreciate his enduring worldwide legacy.’

Kelmscott Manor is thought to have played a major role in influencing the conservation philosophy of Morris who featured the building in the preface to his novel News from Nowhere. The country house also featured in the background of an 1871 painting of his wife Jane Morris by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who co-rented Kelmscott with Morris.

Dante gabriel rossetti water willow 1871

Dante gabriel rossetti water willow 1871

Water Willow, by Dante Gabriel Rosetti, features William Morris’s wife Jane with Kelmscott in the background

The limestone mansion overlooking the River Thames was built by local farmer Thomas Turner in 1570. Morris used it as a country retreat for his family and friends. Following his death it continued to be occupied by his widow, who purchased it in 1913.

The complex is open to the public as a museum on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the summer, and has been kept largely unchanged since Morris’s death, featuring many of his furniture pieces and textile patterns.

The winning team will deliver architectural, lead design and contract administration services for the project. Structural, civil and mechanical and electrical engineering may also be required.

The Society of Antiquaries of London, which took ownership of the site in 1962, received a £4.7 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the development stage of the project last summer. An application for the second stage of HLF funding is expected by December 2017.

The deadline for applications is 5pm, 24 January.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Jeremy Stone
Society of Antiquaries of London
Burlington House, Piccadilly

Tel: +44 7875763162
Email: jeremy.stone@greenwoodprojects.com


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