One of Hammersmith ’s best kept secrets has welcomed back to visitors following its closure for vital repair work.
Emery Walker’s House reopened on Thursday (April 20) for the first time in 18 months, and welcomed visitors from near and as far afield as Australia.
The four-storey house, at 7 Hammersmith Terrace, is regarded as the best preserved Arts & Crafts Movement home in Britain , and was home to one of the key members of the movement.
It features thousands of exhibits, many of which belong to Sir Emery’s close friend, pioneer William Morris, which have been beautifully preserved at No 7.
Among the treasures it houses is the largest in situ collections of Morris & Co wallpapers in the world and outstanding textiles and embroideries.
Amongst Sir Emery's many possessions are items which were created especially for, or given to him by his close friends and colleagues.
These include Morris’ 17th Century Library chair, Philip Webb furniture and glass, ceramics by William de Morgan and a Burne-Jones portrait of May Morris.
Other, very personal possessions include a lock of Morris’ hair, snipped off on his deathbed, and a mould of Philip Webb’s ears.
Michael Grant, from Hanwell, was first through the door when the house reopened. He is a big fan of Arts & Crafts and William Morris, and said: “It was really interesting; so many people from the Arts & Crafts Movement lived here and knew each other.
“I particularly loved the bedcover – it was amazing!”
And Jill Rathbone, from Fulham, enthused: “I really enjoyed the fact that it was a home and that someone lived in it – it looks like time has stood still, and I’m glad that it has not undergone a makeover.
“I loved the old photographs, the fabrics, the wallpapers – the creakiness of it!”
Benita McLennan from Australia, said she hadn’t heard of Emery Walker before, but said: “I’m a William Morris fan and am doing a bit of a tour. I found it really good and informative.”
Rowan Ferguson, also an Arts & Crafts enthusiast, has just moved to London. He said: “Just before I moved I watched something about Emery Walker, and then I moved to Hammersmith and walked past the house, but it was closed then.
"Now it is open I finally get to see inside! I like the Daisy wallpaper and the ceramics particularly - I want more time to see everything!”
The project has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Arts & Crafts Hammersmith project.
It saw around 6,000 items from the riverside house removed for cataloguing and conservation while repairs to the building’s structure, including replacement of the roof, took place.
Three hour guided tours of the property take place on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Prebooking is essential and can be done at the Emery Walker website .