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Tour Director
Practical Information

  • Discover the world of William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones in and around Oxford

  • Enjoy a special guided tour of Kelmscott Manor, Morris’s beautiful Cotswolds home, reopening following a major conservation project

  • View works of art of different media, including William Holman Hunt’s painting The Light of the World at Keble College, and stained glass at Christ Church Cathedral

"Brilliant tour that brought everything together"

- ACE customer on a previous Pre-Raphaelites in Oxford tour with Christopher Bourne

From a base in Oxford, this tour places William Morris at the epicentre of Victorian art, taste and design, as we explore the ‘city of dreaming spires’ and the surrounding countryside. Key focal points will be Morris & Company, the Pre-Raphaelites and the Gothic Revival’s medievalist Victorian vision in and around Oxford.


A highlight of our tour will be a special guided visit to Kelmscott Manor, the exquisite country retreat built in Cotswold stone that Morris described as “Heaven on Earth”. The Grade I listed manor is reopening in spring 2022 following major conservation and restoration works, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and we look forward to being amongst the first groups to visit after this project. Its evocative collections include furniture, original textiles, pictures, ceramics and metalwork, and it is surrounded by beautiful gardens, which were a source of inspiration to Morris.


Within the city itself, a rich array of Pre-Raphaelite art can be discovered inside several famous colleges. We look forward to viewing the stained glass at Christ Church Cathedral and Harris Manchester College Chapel, as well as the sumptuous Victorian chapel at Exeter College. William Butterfield’s assertive Keble College is home to an intimate chapel, containing William Holman Hunt’s The Light of the World.


The Oxford Union, containing early and important murals by Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones, will be explored alongside the world-class collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings and drawings at the Ashmolean Museum. A visit to the galleries, in addition to viewing works on paper by Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites in the museum’s Print Room, will set Oxford’s Victorian architectural heritage in a broader artistic context. Stopping at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, we will have an opportunity to view statues by Pre-Raphaelite sculptors, and explore how John Ruskin, who was closely linked to the Brotherhood, had an influence upon the architecture of this great museum.


urther highlights of our tour will include excursions to Buscot Park, which includes an excellent collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings in Victorian surroundings, and 13th century Great Coxwell Barn, a favourite of Morris’s, who described it as “unapproachable in its dignity”.


We will stay at the three-star Mercure Oxford Eastgate Hotel, situated in the heart of the city. 


This tour will be led by Christopher Bourne, BA, an expert in 19th and 20th century art. Christopher has been leading art and architectural history tours in the UK and Belgium for over 20 years. He read History and French at the University of Manchester, and following an early interest in 19th century art and architecture, developed specialist knowledge of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the Arts & Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau, Jugendstil and the Viennese Secession. Christopher is a member of the Victorian Society, the William Morris Society, the Pre-Raphaelite Society and the 20th Century Society. He is also an adviser to tourism organisations in France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Following a highly enjoyable 2021 tour, Christopher looks forward to returning to Oxford in 2022 to introduce another ACE group to the world of the Pre-Raphaelites.

Tour Code
Places are limited.
Please contact the office
for more details.

Included: Accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded privilege room, breakfast, one lunch, dinner with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.

Not Included: Travel insurance, privilege double room for single use supplement £250.

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