Red House Pilgrim's Rest Courtyard

William Morris Pilgrim's Rest

The Pilgrim's Rest Porch and Garden at Red House

The Pilgrim's Rest porch tiles consist of three patterns: "Si je puis", Tudor Rose, and the Morris family crest. William Morris took great care with every detail of Red House, his first married home with Jane Burden Morris. Red house was designed by his friend, architect Philip Webb. The interior, with its stained glass and its medieval furniture and themes was an ongoing work of love for Morris, Burne-Jones, Webb and their friends. Morris called it, "The Beautifullest Place on Earth."

Morris designed and hand-painted each tile himself on Dutch blanks. Despite being somewhat protected from the elements in the porch, the garden tiles have not stood up as well as later tiles made by Morris & Co. at Merton Abby. To understand why, see William Morris Tile Making Process.

William Morris Pilgrim's Rest Garden Porch Tiles

The garden porch was called The Pilgrim's Rest because the location Morris chose for Red House was along the route the pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales would have taken. The Pilgrim's Rest porch tiles were some of the first tiles and designed, hand-painted, and fired entirely by Willis Morris.

Available Styles and Colors

Original 'Pilgrim's Rest' porch tiles at Red House

Colors: Light and dark variations. Can be modified slightly. See How to Order Tile.

Designer: William Morris

Sizes: 4 inch or 6 inch tiles

Title: Pilgrim's Rest Porch Tiles

Quantity: Twelve tiles

Tile: Tumbled marble stone

William Morris Red House Pilgrim's Rest reproduction tiles


4 inch square tiles: $58

6 inch square tiles: $68

The Backstory

Rossetti described Red House as "more a poem than a house". Its external structure was nearly free of ornamentation, in contrast to surrounding homes and the fashion of the day. Its interior was anything but stark: A wedding house for his marriage to stunner, Jane Burden. It was a fairy tale home for his fairy tale princess, the daughter of an Oxford stable hand.

Red House was designed by architect Philip Webb, a bit of a renegade as Victorian architects go. He and Morris chose a site near the valley of the river Cray, a tributary of the Thames, near the route taken by the pilgrims in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Morris was enchanted with the Tales and Chaucerian themes worked their was into the home's interior decorations, decorates planned and executed by Morris and his friends.

Pilgrim's Rest Bench at Red House Pilgrim's Rest Porch Tile

Related Sections

William Morris Tile Home

Early Tiles

Fairy Tale Fireplace Tiles

Jane Morris Daisies


William Morris: The Soul of Arts and Crafts

What is Arts and Crafts?



Morris and Morris & Co. Tiles

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Detail from the Prioress's Tale cabinet at Red  House, painted by William Morris and circle

The Prioress Tale cabinet at Red House (detail)

It was at Red House that Morris and his friends conceived Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co., the forerunner to Morris & Co. and arguably, making Red House the birthplace of the Arts and Crafts movement.