Sunday, 8 September – National Trust Standen House, Morris & Co. Exhibit, Romney Marsh

The National Trust Standen House had a Morris & Co. exhibit of William Morris’ company designs so we had changed our itinerary in order to see it. It was definitely worth it! Although I took dozens of pictures, for some reason I did not take any of the exterior of the house.

Standen was designed to look as though it has always been here – almost as if it has ‘grown’ out of the rock face and is a part of the landscape, however the land that Standen now stands upon was originally made up of three farms: Stone, Hollybush and Standen.

Art historian Abigail Harrison-Moore recently called Standen one of the most charming examples of Arts and Crafts workmanship in the UK. It has a surprisingly pioneering spirit – from the use of electric lighting to its role in the Suffragette movement.

The location commands fine views of the Medway Valley and Ashdown Forest, so it is no surprise that James and Margaret Beale chose this as the site of their planned country house. In spring 1891, they enlisted the architect Philip Webb to lead the project.

In addition to the many examples of Morris & Company design items, Margaret Beale and other members of the family were excellent and dedicated needlewomeen. Many of their pieces are still in the house. Although details of the embroideries are available from the docents, I didn’t take notes so I only have pictures without attribution. There is more information on the Morris & Co. items and volunteers from the National Trust have added other needlework pieces.

Morris trellis wallpaper

Needlework pillows taken from the trellis design:

Pillows by volunteers to indicate which chairs may be used. The chairs they don’t want to be used have pine cones on the seats!

This room was my favorite in the house:

This pillow demonstrates how elements of Morris designs were used in needlework patterns:

Morris wallpaper

We drove down to the coast and stopped at Romney Marsh. At some times of the year, it is a major stop over for migrating birds. We didn’t see any birds worth photographing but it was a nice break.

Across the highway was some sort of tower, but I don’t see it marked on the maps.

We stayed in Dover this night.

Leave a Reply