Entry Fee? – This museum is free to enter and the temporary exhibition ‘The Enchanted Garden’ is also free to visit.
Brief Description of the museum? – Located ‘Water House’ the former family home of William Morris himself in Walthamstow, the William Morris Gallery is the only public gallery which is dedicated to Morris – a famous Victorian designer, craftsman, socialist, writer and founder of the arts and crafts movement which took place throughout the 1800s. Exploring the many layers of Morris’ life, the Gallery is the perfect location for those who are interested in the historical progression of arts and crafts, or those who are a fan of the many famous Morris & Co prints which are still world renown to this day! Featuring a plethora of fabrics, rugs, wallpapers, furniture and prints designed by Morris, his friends and family, the Gallery is a brilliant day out for adults and children a-like and the beautiful large gardens surrounding the property would be the ideal location for a spring/summer trip!
Opening times? – The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday (10am-5pm)
Photography allowed? – Yes, photography is allowed in this museum as well as the temporary exhibition. Please be considerate when using flash however, due to the age of some of the objects (ask a member of staff if youre unsure)
Interactive technology? – Yes, this museum features interactive technologies which help visitors to explore Morris’ life and his relationship with the local area in Walthamstow.
Facilities for kids? – As previously mentioned, this museum features interactive technology which is ideal for children, as well as interactive activities for children to engage with the processes used to create some of the objects apart of the arts and crafts movement and histories. The museum also offers family events, so please see the link below for more information:
Guides? – Free guides are given upon your arrival, which give you a detailed drawing of the floor plan and guide to the different sections of the museum.
Top 3 things not to be missed? –
- St James’s Silk Damask (1883)
This beautifully striking piece of fabric holds an incredible and royal history! Designed by William Morris in 1883 this luxurious fabric was designed for the Armoury and Tapestry rooms in St James’s Place in London, which of course made it a firm favourite amongst his other customers as well. The fabric had multiple uses, and could be used for wall-coverings, curtains or as a background for embroidery however, its most important use may very well be when the fabric was used to reupholster George V’s coronation throne in 1911! A copy of Morris and Co’s catalogue ‘The Coronation Thrones and Other Royal Furniture’ below the silk shows and image of the stunning reupholstered throne where the fabric most definitely is the most striking feature!
- Circular Chair (Late 1850s)
I know what youre thinking, why on earth am I mentioning a chair? Well, this chair is an incredible and ‘hidden’ piece of history, which through a modern-day eye is a discreet symbol of Morris’ rejection of Victorian convention and his interpretation of re-thinking furniture design. This chair was a one-off and was designed by Morris’ for his London lodgings when he first moved to the city, and its solid construction and painted panels were designed to recreate a medieval look, which would continue to inspire Wallis’ creations. The chair was created to protest against the highly finished and elaborate designs of furniture which were in fashion during this time, and Morris’ attempt to create a unique yet classic design, which was to become the theme of the arts and crafts movement.
- The Titanic Fabric (1912)
In the early twentieth Century, Morris and Co had designed a beautiful green furnishing fabric called ‘Utrecht Velvet’. The woven mohair pile, stamped with floral designs, was a hardwearing fabric which made it suitable for upholstery. Its design, colour and feel made it internationally appealing and a popular commercial choice, so it is therefore, unsurprising that it was used to furnish the first-class accommodations aboard the RMS Titanic in 1912. A section of the fabric can be seen on display at the Gallery, and above it a picture of a first-class cabin aboard the Titanic where the fabric stands out amongst the grandeur of the room.
Food and Drink facilities? – Yes, there is a restaurant/ tea room called ‘The Larder’ at the Gallery where breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea are served. The Tea Room is open Tuesday to Sunday (10am-4:30pm)
Tours? – Curatorial tours are available upon booking a group visit to the gallery at a set price, please see the link below for more information.
Free introductory community welcome tours are also available to registered charities, social enterprises and constituted charitable groups in Waltham Forest and neighbouring boroughs.
Nearest station/ Tube? – The nearest station to the gallery is Walthamstow Central, which is an approximately 12-15-minute walk away.
Bus routes? – From Walthamstow Central station take buses:
34, 97, 215, 275 or 357 to Bell Corner (5-6 minutes). For more information on travel and directions to the gallery, please see the link below.
Postcode/ address- William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, Forest Road, London E17 4PP
A more detailed guide to the Galleries accessibility arrangements is available via the link below.
Visitors who are Deaf or hard of hearing:
An induction loop and large print labels are available at reception. Please contact the museum via the links below if you require British Sign Language interpretation to take part in any of the galleries talks and events.
A BSL introduction to the gallery is also available, as well as a pre-booked speech to text tour.
Visitors who are Blind or partially sighted:
Braille and Touch tours are available by appointment, so please call or email via the number and email below for more in-depth information and booking enquiries:
020 8496 1485
email [email protected].
Visitors with mobility impairments:
The William Morris Gallery is fully accessible, with an accessible entrance, toilets and lift access to all floors.
The gallery has three Blue Badge parking bays however, its gates are kept locked to prevent unauthorised parking so therefore, Blue badge holders asked to call the Gallery on the below number upon arrival or in advance.
020 8496 1470
Two manual wheelchairs for visitors to borrow so again, please do contact the gallery if you would like to reserve one for your visit.