Looking through trees across a wide river to a group of buildings

Outing to Abingdon and Kelmcott Manor

Wednesday 24 April 2024
09:00 to 19:30

Abingdon on Thames has a claim to being the oldest town in England. There was a neolithic settlement here and archaeological evidence of the town developing on this site for over 1,000 years. Only Celtic settlements in Scotland and Wales are more ancient than Abingdon. It is a delight to visit as there is a wealth of architecture, historical treasures, shopping and the beautiful Thames River for members to explore in time available.

Kelmscott Manor is a limestone manor house, Grade I listed, which dates from around 1570. In 1871 it attracted the attention of William Morris, who took the Manor on a joint 3-year lease with artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who lived there until leaving in 1874. Morris stayed, “loving it deeply”. The place inspired designs such as Strawberry Thief, his writings, and informed his thinking about society, ecology and building conservation. Today it is owned and run by the Society of Antiquaries of London. Having had a major refurbishment, it is now open to visitors. The Manor House and adjoining farm buildings are unspoiled and in harmony with the surrounding countryside. The interiors offer a wealth of William Morris designs, and the gardens are delightful. Morris was delighted by this “loveliest haunt of ancient peace”. In the garden there is a relic of the past that some may remember - an outside 3-seater lavatory. One wonders what topics of conversation were used to pass the time. Not in use today, thankfully! The price includes a tour and cream tea.

Note the theme of William Morris - our last trip in 2023 and our first in 2024.

From Fairfield Road
(view map)
Cost £50.00