National asset

Red House, the 19th-century home of socialist, writer and architect William Morris, will next week become the latest National Trust property to open to the public. The trust saved the house from an uncertain future when it bought the property in January for an undisclosed fee from a family who had lived there for 50 years.

It describes Red House as "one of the most important buildings of the 19th century". Morris lived there for five years between 1859 and 1864 after commissioning its design from Philip Webb at the age of 25. Situated in Bexleyheath, London, the building set a trend for the design of English country houses that was copied into the early 20th century. The public has been given access just six months after it was bought to allow visitors to follow its progress as research reveals the house and garden that Morris orginally created. Admission is by pre-booked guided tours. For more information, call 01494 755588.

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