If you are ever in the vicinity of Bexleyheath in South London it is well worth calling in at Red House - the brick home designed for William Morris by Phillip Webb in 1859. I had the chance to visit today and am glad I took it.
There is some interesting woodwork - particularly a heavily built, painted settle, complete with false minstrel's gallery on top of which Rossetti apparently used to sleep things off after a few drinks too many! The joinery and furniture is mostly heavy, still with very overt gothic influence, although much simpler and less ornate than, say, Pugin's flamboyant Grange, built just 15 years earlier. It is fascinating to see the direction that two of the great minds of the Arts and Crafts movement were working at this pivotal point in its history. The gothic revival was starting to look to the present as much as the the past: a new simplicity and clarity was being born.
Sadly, as with so many historic houses that are open to the pubic, the original spirit of the place has been rather spoilt. Being there is a bit like walking around a corpse, the life of which has long since departed, but it is interesting and informative non-the-less.
Unfortunately I was not permitted to use flash inside, so you will have to make do with a picture of the exterior until you get to visit it yourself!