William Morris's Red-House by Philip Speakman Webb

Tiling in the garden porch near the well, with Morris's initial and motto ("Si Je Puis"): Red House designed by Philip Speakman Webb for William and Jane Morris. Designed 1859; completed 1860. Bexleyheath, Greater London. Photograph, caption, and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee, 2009. With special thanks to Sally Roberson of the National Trust at Red House. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]

The tiling in the Pilgrim's Rest, the quaintly named garden porch which faces the Well Courtyard, is over a settle. Seen here are Morris's initial M in medieval script, and his motto ("Si Je Puis") scrolling round an oak, alongside white roses on bright sunbursts. The name given to the porch recalls the fact that the house is near the route that Chaucer's pilgrims would have taken on their way to Canterbury — one of the reasons for this choice of location (see Red House 7). The heraldic motif and its repetition are very reminiscent of A. W. N. Pugin's use of his coat of arms in stamping his own mark on the design elements in his homes: see, for example, Pugin hall chair from The Grange in Ramsgate.

Other views and related material


Reference and Further Reading

Red House: Bexleyheath. Swindon: The National Trust, 2003.

Jordan, Robert Furneaux. Victorian Architecture. Harmondsworth: Pelican Books, 1966.

Morris and Company. London: The Fine Art Society, 1979.

William Morris. Ed. Linda Parry. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996.

Last modified 8 March 2009