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.
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.
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
4 inch square tiles: $58
6 inch square tiles: $68
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.
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.
Copyright information: Images of tile products on this website are ©William Morris Tile, LLC. They are derivative works requiring considerable creative effort. You are welcome to use the images, with attribution, for any non-commercial purpose, including displaying them on your blog or personal website. You may not use them for any commercial purpose without written permission, including but not limited to creating counted cross-stitch patterns, calendars, or any other commercial purpose. Contact me for images.