Friend of The Gordon Russell Design Museum, Oliver Heal, is providing a unique opportunity for just 20 Friends to visit the house purchased by his grandfather Ambrose Heal in 1919.
BAYLINS FARM is a convincing demonstration of the powerful influence the ideas of William Morris had on the generation of designers that followed at the beginning of the 20th century. Sir Ambrose Heal (1872-1959), the renowned furniture retailer, designer and manufacturer, acquired and restored this 15th-century timber-framed farmhouse in 1919 and it has remained the Heal family home ever since.
Still furnished with unique pieces of Ambrose Heal’s furniture made in his own Cabinet Factory it shows how deeply he was influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement, even after the First World War when he was at the same time designing furniture for mass production. The house includes examples of the work of Morris, de Morgan, Romney Green, MacDonald Gill (Eric Gill’s brother) and Edward Maufe.
Ambrose sent his elder son Anthony (father of Oliver) to learn cabinet making at the Russell Workshops in the 1920’s and the house still contains the wardrobe he made there.
As a family home for three generations it has naturally acquired layers of later influence but the fundamental layout and furnishing of Sir Ambrose Heal and his wife Edith remain remarkably intact. His 1926 Sunbeam motor car still stands in the garage.