Donna Ferguson: The Guardian

To wealthy Victorians and Edwardians, David Parr was a working-class labourer, paid a pittance to decorate the imposing interiors of private mansions and Cambridge colleges with William Morris’s fashionably grand designs.

It wasn’t until 82 years after Parr’s death that Tamsin Wimhurst, a social historian, serendipitously knocked on the door of his former house in Cambridge and discovered his incredible secret: that Parr, working for around 40 years at night by candlelight, had painstakingly decorated the walls and ceilings of his own cottage with equally magnificent William Morris designs. His humble two-bedroom terrace house was filled with all the exquisite Victorian craftsmanship, artistry and splendour he could muster. …Read More

Image: A room in David Parr’s modest 19th-century terraced house in Cambridge. Photograph: Helena G Anderson