Kelmscott is a small very rural village which is in fact the only true Thames-side village in West Oxfordshire. In the village is Kelmscott Manor, a Thames-side Grade 1 listed farmhouse dating from around 1600.
Kelmscott Manor was enlarged later in the 17th century but since then it has remained virtually unaltered. It was the summer home of William Morris from 1871 to 1896. The house contains an outstanding collection of the possessions and works of Morris, his family and associates including furniture, original textiles, pictures, carpets, ceramics and metalwork. The building itself is unusual in that none of the external walls are truly vertical, and water chutes are necessary to throw rainwater from the roof away from the face of the walls.
Kelmscott Manor is open to the public every Wednesday and Saturday between April and October.
In a typical village the parish church is right next to the manor house. But in the village of Kelmscott, which spreads along 4 lanes that form a box, St George's Church is on the opposite side of the village to Kelmscott Manor. St George's was begun in the late 12th century. Since the middle of the 16th century it has remained virtually unaltered. William Morris made sure that some restoration carried out in the late 19th century did little to spoil the medieval character of the church. william Morris himself was buried in the churchyard in 1896.
Kelmscott is in the extreme south-west of the district, very close to the Gloucestershire border about 2 miles east of Letchlade-on-Thames. There is no through route through the village, which makes it very quiet, that is if you ignore the tourist traffic and other visitors to Kelmscott Manor.