Kelmscott House

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Kelmscott House

Kelmscott House is a Georgian brick mansion at 26 Upper Mall in Hammersmith, overlooking the River Thames. It was the London home of English textile designer, artist, writer and socialist William Morris from April 1879 until his death in October 1896.

Originally called The Retreat, Morris renamed it after the Oxfordshire village of Kelmscott where he had lived at Kelmscott Manor from June 1871.

Nearby, Morris began his "adventure in printing" with his private press, the Kelmscott Press, which he started nearby at 16 Upper Mall in 1891.

Previous owners[edit]

The property was once owned by Sir Francis Ronalds who constructed the first electric telegraph in the garden in 1816.[1] From 1867, then called The Retreat, it was the family home of poet, minister and novelist George MacDonald[1] who wrote two of his most popular children's books, At the Back of the North Wind (1871) and The Princess and the Goblin (1873), there.[2]


The building is a private house, though the basement and coach house entrance serve as headquarters of the William Morris Society, whose premises are open to the public on Thursday and Saturday afternoons.

The William Morris Society "re-formed" the Hammersmith branch of the Socialist League (UK, 1885) for one day on the TUC March for the Alternative on 26 March 2011.[3]The banner was paraded again on 20 October 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Kelmscott House Garden". London Parks and Gardens Trust. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Kelmscott House". William Morris Society UK. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "The William Morris Society and the TUC Day of Action". William Morris Society UK. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′26″N 0°14′07″W / 51.4905°N 0.2354°W / 51.4905; -0.2354