A blog about the famous Victorian poet, designer, and Socialist, William Morris.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tattershall Castle

My partner's family lives in Woodhall Spa, near the romantically-named village of Tattershall. (For non-UK readers: close to Woodhall Spa, one can also find places called “Heckington” and “Spilsby". Feel free to giggle.)

Tattershall is home to a rare fifteenth-century red brick castle keep, partially restored in the early twentieth century. When I first started visiting Lincolnshire, I discovered to my horror that my partner, Simon, considered the castle to be 'not that old', and in some sense 'not a proper castle'. I suppose in a country where any given piece of farmland could have the remains of a Roman encampment, that's fair.

But it's a beautiful castle, and it wasn't long before its rosy walls brought Red House to my mind. Red House was the first house that Morris owned, and the first house that Philip Webb built as an independent architect. It's a red brick home with gothic details, and it looks like this. I couldn't help but think that either Morris or Webb had to have seen Tattershall Castle.

So, when I read in Lethaby's Philip Webb and his work that Webb had indeed visited it during a sketching tour in 1857, I was very happy. Here's one more clue to what Webb was thinking when he designed Red House. More photos after the jump!

Tourism has left its mark here, though no sign of Webb's name

The full view

Photos by Simon Smith.

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