Our visit to Kelmscott Manor and Buscot Park
A full coach load of parishioners and friends boarded the coach for our May trip to Kelmscott Manor and Buscot Park in the Cotswolds.
Our first stop was Kelmscott where we enjoyed refreshments before being introduced to the manor by a very informative presentation. The manor is the only property owned by the Society of Antiquaries of London. The house has a long history and is primarily know as being the inspirational retreat of William Morris from 1871 until his death in 1896. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the pre Raphaelite artist and his great friend was co-tenant from 1971 until 1874. It appears that his particular interest here was Mrs. Morris!
We were then free to wander through the manor and grounds at our own pace. The house is a treasure house of fabrics, paintings, furniture and ceramics all from the period of the ‘arts and crafts’ movement. The house started life as a farm house and was extended by Morris. It was he, who changed its name to ‘Manor’, although in fact it was never a manor house. There were also some very pleasant gardens to see. One or two of us found the reminder of the days before inside plumbing was the norm with the earth closet at the bottom of the garden. People seemed to be a lot friendly in those days as it was a three seater. We then had a very pleasant lunch and made our way, a short distance to Buscot Park.
Buscot Park is the home of the Henderson family and the present Lord Faringdon looks after the property on behalf of the National Trust. The house, although currently undergoing external restoration work is fascinating and is home to the Faringdon collection; a collection of various artistic works which are constantly being added to. The rooms are beautiful asnd are enhanced by the numerous work by famous artists hanging on the walls. The gardens cover some fifty-six acres and I think are worth a visit in their own right. You can enjoy one of the longer walks through the grounds or perhaps just enjoy the immaculately kept walled garden. Unexpectedly as you approach the walled garden you are met by reproductions of the famous Chinese terracotta warriors! As well as the gardens there are lakes and water gardens to keep you occupied. Many were probably out of our range for an afternoon’s visit.
The cafeteria was the last call of the day for many of the travellers. This is a work of art in its own right as the walls are painted to depict the present family interwoven with the history.
This was a very pleasant day out in the Cotswold countryside.