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William Morris Gallery

Art, Public art Walthamstow Free
5 out of 5 stars
(27user reviews)
 (© William Morris Gallery)
© William Morris Gallery
 (© William Morris Gallery)
© William Morris Gallery
 (© William Morris Gallery)
© William Morris Gallery
 (© Oliver Dixon / Imagewise)
© Oliver Dixon / ImagewiseWilliam Morris Gallery
 (© William Morris Gallery)
© William Morris Gallery

Time Out says

William Morris Gallery is Morris's former family home, the 18th-century Water House. The artist, socialist and source of all that flowery wallpaper lived here between 1848 and 1856. The house is set in its own extensive grounds and features permanent displays of printed and woven fabrics, rugs and painted tiles by Morris and other members of the Arts and Crafts movement, as well as humble domestic objects including Morris's coffee cup and the satchel he used to distribute his radical pamphlets. It underwent a £5m refurbishment in 2012. 



Address: William Morris Gallery
Forest Rd
E17 4PP
Transport: Tube: Walthamstow Central
Price: Free
Opening hours: Wed-Sun 10am-5pm
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Users say (27)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:22
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
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There're not many things you can do for free these days, but London is full of great free cultural experiences including the William Morris Gallery in unexpected Walthamstow. A 10-15 minute stroll from Walthamstow station and you're hit by the imposing 'Water House' - a beautiful Georgian house where Morris spent some of his life. The gallery is brilliantly curated, beginning with the history of his early life it moves on to describe the inception of Morris and Co. and the revival of traditional techniques to make beautiful wares that were distinctly different from the gordy Victorian offerings of the day. On your journey through the museum you'll spot many designs that are still in production today, showing how they stood the test of time. Interesting to also read about the other aspects of his life; I hadn't realised that he even set up his own publishers and also spent months travelling through Iceland while his wife was busy having an affair with his so called friend (pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti)! When I visited, there was also a special exhibition on of his daughter, May Morris' work, which was equally beautiful. The gallery is well curated and laid out and best of all is free! Also worth checking out the onsite cafe and adjoining Lloyd park. 


The William Morris Gallery is situated at the main entrance to Lloyd Park in the northern part of Walthamstow. With guest exhibitions this gallery supports local and up and coming artists and movements. It also hosts a number of events from art workshops to talks and other events often organised by those in the local community. People can volunteer here and become members to support and help run events here. The gallery takes you through the life of William Morris and his family with some of his original prints and furniture on display. There is a small gift shop as well as a lovely cafe in the 'orangery' selling warm drinks, wine, beer and snacks with a beautiful outlook over the original gardens and Lloyd Park.


Set in the grounds of William Morris’s former residence, the gallery shows off some of his works in permanent displays as well as hosting guest exhibits and events. We attended a one-off talk by the designer Coralie Bickford-Smith, which was wonderful, but we did get a chance to explore some of the other rooms and grounds of this very grand property. Lovely items in the gift shop, as you would expect.


Excellent gallery - a bit of a hidden gem in Walthamstow. Stunning prints by William Morris in abundance and the garden at the back is lovely to explore. Well worth a visit. 

I recently visited the exhibition 'A World to Win', a selection of revolutionary posters from around the world, which I found very interesting.


This gallery, housed in a beautiful house in Walthamstow that William Morris lived in as a young boy provides a very comprehensive look at his craft. There is so much to learn throughout the exhibits such as how Morris used traditional methods of dyeing cloth, pattern making techniques and about Morris' many other humanitarian and political interests. There are so many wonderful examples of William Morris furniture and fabrics on display. The gallery also has a few other exhibits covering the arts and crafts movement in general as well as some space allocated for current artists' work. There is a great cafe to pop into afterwards and Lloyd Park to walk around as well.

Staff Writertastemaker

Really sweet little gallery/museum space with permanent collection as well as various shows across the year.

The gardens are the real draw here, lovely on a summers day for a picnic and big enough to tuck yourself away in a shady corner and fall asleep under a tree. If you haven't brought your own picnic there is a great cafe onsite that serves seasonal salads and delicious cakes- much better than your average museum cafe!

It's a little out of the way if you're not driving so plan to make a day of it. Very relaxing little gem

A central facet of the teeming cultural scene in the area. Great events that make good use the gallery, and the amazing Lloyd park also (Just returned from an excellent free evening event in fact.) Lovely place run by people who seem dedicated to spreading the ethos of the great Mr Morris...

The true gem of Walthamstow. Since I was a child I have always loved this gorgouse gallery. It has recently been refurbished, including the surrounding park. This place is by far underrated! A truly stunning piece of local culture and national history. #Local #TOTastemaker

As well as all the fascinating information about William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement, the gallery also hosts interesting visiting artists and exhibitions. The tea shop in the new extension does wonderful cakes too!

The Young Curators Group at the Gallery provides a fantastic opportunity for young people, whether they are local or live further afield, to engage with the growing arts and culture scene within the community. The Gallery deserves recognition for the work it is doing to increase youth participation in Waltham Forest. Art is being made accessible to a stratum of people generally seen as apathetic towards art.

A lovely visit, well curated and very interesting. The cafe was lovely, although gift shop is quite expensive.

The William Morris Gallery is an East London gem - a fascinating exhibition with interactive elements for children and adults, a beautiful café with scrumptious food, and a beautiful park to look out over and take a stroll in. Highly recommended!

Fantastic gallery with a great collection of works, inspiring contemporary art commissions and a mean cappuccino to boot!

I have known this museum and gallery all my life, but it's renovated and updated current self is the best yet. The food in the cafe is excellent, the staff are friendly. Changing exhibitions, talks, lectures, special events. it offers everything to the visitor.

Beautiful grounds, interesting house, constantly changing exhibitions, lovely tea room with delicious food - a very pleasant place to visit.

Highly recommended great for all the family.. Always lots of activities for children and the exhibitions are brilliant

Brilliant museum about one of England's greatest people. Beautiful objects, thoughtful presentation, lots of fun interactives for all ages and a lovely café - and all in a great park. What more could you want?

My ultimate local indulgence... a n accessible museum for young and old and a tearoom offering some of the finest local food and coffee while overlooking the beautiful Lloyd park


As a design student and aspiring surface pattern designer, William Morris's Walthamstow home was an absolute heaven on Earth for me to visit, and I do not know how I did not know it existed sooner!?  Much to the annoyance of my friend I managed to spend absolutely hours following the story of Morris' life and works, with a very comprehensive selection of his textile and wallpaper samples available to look at. The house, which once belonged to Morris himself, provides a beautiful setting as a backdrop to Morris's story and whether you're interested in design, the sociological history, the arts and crafts movement or just want a 'different' day out, I highly recommend this place!

WILLIAM MORRIS IN WALTHAMSTOW Born in Walthamstow in 1834, William Morris lived as a growing boy in the grade II* listed building that is now the site for this splendid gallery. Renovated and revitalized in 2012, this museum won the £100,000 Art Fund prize of 2013, and justly so. The present building simultaneously retains the workshop element while appealing to a contemporary audience. Morris worked in so many media that the architects and designers would have been spoilt for choice in terms of decorative and illuminated works. The garden too is a delight to saunter in on a summer’s day, its organized designs mirroring the patterns and motifs in his handiwork, with a bridge over a willowy moat where fluffy new broods paddle. Morris thought that the great Victorian John Ruskin’s The Nature of Gothic was one of the few indispensible works of the age; the book changed his life and predetermined the path he would pursue with fastidious dedication. He set out, in his own admission, with the arrogance of youth to change the world with beauty. Believing he belonged to a bygone age that was true to a higher standard, he set about elaborating works that he hoped might be stimulating and edifying in his own time. Inevitably and necessarily, his vision of life became politicized into socialism as he sought for a better society for the exploited lower classes. This museum offers substantial insights into his concerns and his legacy, together with glimpses and sprinklings of appetizing nuggets of biography, covering his upbringing, his influences, his muses, his friendships and collaborations with the likes of Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. I am uneasy spending too many hours within any four walls – and the last time I visited Walthamstow it was to spend a night in the cells – but if I am to spend time indoors I would prefer it to be in a place like this, where there is a sense of being in the open air, figured in the elaborate interlacings of tendril and vine, fluent and linear arabesques of organized vegetation, printed and woven fabrics and tapestries, the timeless symbolism of sunlit legends depicted in coloured glass and cut wood. This insistence on exemplary craftsmanship and truth to materials have elsewhere sustained our Englishry in the works of artists like Eric Gill and Henry Moore, who steadfastly resisted the commercial mechanization of modern industry. The selections of William Morris’s work exhibited here prove, in my estimation, that patient craftsmanship of this calibre singlehandedly exposes much of the footling and fraudulent art of today as bluff and scam, morally and aesthetically bankrupt by comparison. To say that much of the work here is decorative is no denigration, for in Morris’s assured hands the process is lifted to a platform that puts it on a platform par excellence. A visit to this impressive museum is a thoroughly absorbing experience.

An absolute gem in the newly re-opened Lloyd Park. A fan of William Morris’ work, I decided to take the family out to the gallery and was delighted to see how it had changed since the multi-million pound, Heritage Lottery-funded renovation. The house itself is just stunning (and there’s even a very respectable café, serving decent coffees, with views across the park) and has been restored to its Georgian beauty. The galleries are well-ordered and offer something for all ages. Although I would have loved even fuller information about the social reformer, poet, designer and craftsman, the house fits in as much as it can and – anyway – I was far too busy making brass rubbings and practising weaving with my young son! Thoroughly recommended for a morning/afternoon out and a great opportunity to discover this exciting part of east London.

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