CHELSEA is an affluent area in West
London , bounded to the south by
River Thames . Its frontage runs from
Chelsea Bridge along the
Chelsea Embankment ,
Cheyne Walk , Lots Road and
Chelsea Harbour . Its
eastern boundary was once defined by the
River Westbourne , which is
now in a pipe above
Sloane Square tube station
Sloane Square tube station . The modern eastern
Chelsea Bridge Road and the lower half of
Sloane Street ,
Sloane Square . To the north and northwest, the area fades
Knightsbridge and Brompton , but it is considered that the area
north of King\'s Road as far northwest as
Fulham Road is part of
Chelsea. The football club
Chelsea F.C. is based at Stamford Bridge in
The district is entirely within the Royal Borough of
Chelsea , although Chelsea gives its name to nearby locations, such as
Chelsea Harbour located within the
London Borough of
Fulham , and
Chelsea Barracks in the
City of Westminster . From 1900,
and until the creation of
Greater London in 1965, it formed the
Metropolitan Borough of Chelsea in the County of
The exclusivity of Chelsea as a result of its high property prices
has historically resulted in the term
Sloane Ranger being used to
describe its residents. Since 2011,
Channel 4 has broadcast a reality
television show called
Made in Chelsea , documenting the lives of
affluent young people living there. Moreover, Chelsea is home to one
of the largest communities of Americans living outside the United
States, with 6.53% of Chelsea residents being born in the U.S.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Early history
* 1.2 The borough of artists
* 1.3 Swinging Chelsea and today
* 1.4 Incidents
* 2 Sport
* 3 Geography
* 4 Notable residents
* 5 Property
* 6 Transport
* 6.1 Buses
* 6.2 Tube and rail
* 7 References
* 8 Bibliography
* 9 Further reading
* 10 External links
A map showing the wards of Chelsea Metropolitan Borough as they
appeared in 1916.
The word Chelsea (also formerly Chelceth, Chelchith, or Chelsey, )
originates from the Old English term for "landing place for chalk or
limestone" (Cealc-hyð: chalk -wharf , in Anglo-Saxon ). Chelsea
Synod of Chelsea in 787 AD. The first record of the Manor
of Chelsea precedes the
Domesday Book and records the fact that
Thurstan, governor of the King's Palace during the reign of Edward the
Confessor (1042–1066), gave the land to the Abbot and Convent of
Westminster. Abbot Gervace subsequently assigned the manor to his
mother, and it passed into private ownership. By 1086 the Domesday
Book records that Chelsea was in the hundred of
Middlesex , with
Edward of Salisbury as tenant-in-chief.
King Henry VIII acquired the manor of Chelsea from Lord Sandys in
Chelsea Manor Street is still extant. Two of King Henry's wives
Catherine Parr and
Anne of Cleves , lived in the Manor House;
Princess Elizabeth – the future Queen Elizabeth I – resided there;
Thomas More lived more or less next door at Beaufort House. In
1609 James I established a theological college, "King James\'s College
at Chelsey" on the site of the future
Chelsea Royal Hospital , which
Charles II founded in 1682. Figure Court of Royal Hospital
By 1694, Chelsea – always a popular location for the wealthy, and
once described as "a village of palaces" – had a population of
3,000. Even so, Chelsea remained rural and served
London to the east
as a market garden , a trade that continued until the 19th-century
development boom which caused the final absorption of the district
into the metropolis. The street crossing that was known as Little
Chelsea , Park Walk, linked
Fulham Road to
King's Road and continued
to the Thames and local ferry down Lover's Lane, renamed "Milmans
Street" in the 18th century. Statue of King Charles II on the
site of the
Chelsea Flower Show
King\'s Road , named for Charles II, recalls the King's private road
from St James\'s Palace to
Fulham , which was maintained until the
reign of George IV . One of the more important buildings in King's
Road, the former Chelsea Town Hall, popularly known as "Chelsea Old
Town hall" – a fine neo-classical building – contains important
frescoes . Part of the building contains the Chelsea Public Library.
Almost opposite stands the former
Odeon Cinema , now Habitat , with
its iconic façade which carries high upon it a large sculptured
medallion of the now almost-forgotten
William Friese-Greene , who
claimed to have invented celluloid film and cameras in the 1880s
before any subsequent patents. Statue of
Thomas More on Cheyne
Chelsea Old Church in the background (2006)
Encyclopædia Britannica , "the better residential
portion of Chelsea is the eastern, near
Sloane Street and along the
river; the western, extending north to
Fulham Road , is mainly a poor
quarter". This is no longer the case, although housing trusts and
Council property do remain. The areas to the west also attract very
high prices. This former fashionable village was absorbed into London
during the eighteenth century. Many notable people of 18th century
London, such as the bookseller
Andrew Millar , were both married and
buried in the district.
The memorials in the churchyard of
Chelsea Old Church , near the
river, illustrate much of the history of Chelsea. These include Lord
and Lady Dacre (1594/1595); Lady Jane Cheyne (1698);
Francis Thomas ,
"director of the china porcelain manufactory"; Sir
Hans Sloane (1753);
Thomas Shadwell ,
Poet Laureate (1692). The intended tomb Sir Thomas
More erected for himself and his wives can also be found there, though
More is not in fact buried here.
In 1718, the Raw Silk Company was established in Chelsea Park , with
mulberry trees and a hothouse for raising silkworms. At its height in
1723, it supplied silk to
Caroline of Ansbach , then Princess of
Chelsea once had a reputation for the manufacture of Chelsea buns ,
made from a long strip of sweet dough tightly coiled, with currants
trapped between the layers, and topped with sugar. The Chelsea Bun
House sold these during the 18th century and was patronised by the
Georgian royalty. At Easter, great crowds would assemble on the open
spaces of the Five Fields – subsequently developed as
The Bun House would then do a great trade in hot cross buns and sold
about quarter of a million on its final Good Friday in 1839.
The area was also famous for its "Chelsea China" ware, though the
Chelsea porcelain factory
Chelsea porcelain factory – thought to be the first
workshop to make porcelain in
England – were sold in 1769, and moved
Derby . Examples of the original Chelsea ware fetch high values.
The best-known building is
Chelsea Royal Hospital for old soldiers,
set up by Charles II (supposedly on the suggestion of
Nell Gwynne ),
and opened in 1694. The beautifully proportioned building by
Christopher Wren stands in extensive grounds, where the Chelsea Flower
show is held annually. The former Duke of York\'s Barracks (built
King's Road is now part of Duke of York Square, a
redevelopment including shops and cafes and the site of a weekly
"farmers' market". The
Saatchi Gallery opened in the main building in
Chelsea Barracks , at the end of Lower Sloane Street, was also
in use until recently, primarily by ceremonial troops of the Household
Division . Situated on the
Westminster side of
Chelsea Bridge Road, it
was bought for re-development by a property group from
Chelsea Bridge from the south bank
Chelsea's modern reputation as a centre of innovation and influence
originated in a period during the 19th century, when the area became a
Victorian artists' colony (see Borough of artists below). It became
prominent once again as one of the centres of the "Swinging
of the 1960s, when house prices were lower than in the staid Royal
THE BOROUGH OF ARTISTS
Chelsea once had a reputation as London's bohemian quarter, the haunt
of artists, radicals, painters and poets. Little of this seems to
survive now – the comfortable squares off
King's Road are homes to,
amongst others, investment bankers and film stars. The Chelsea Arts
Club continues in situ; however, the Chelsea College of Art and Design
, founded in 1895 as the Chelsea School of Art, moved from Manresa
Pimlico in 2005.
Oscar Wilde 's house on
Tite Street ,
Chelsea Crosby Hall on Cheyne Walk. Parts of this building date
back to the time of Richard III , its first owner. But it is not
native to Chelsea – it is a survivor of the Great Fire of
It was shipped brick by brick from
Bishopsgate in 1910 after being
threatened with demolition. (January 2006)
Its reputation stems from a period in the 19th century when it became
a sort of Victorian artists' colony: painters such as Dante Gabriel
J. M. W. Turner ,
James McNeill Whistler
James McNeill Whistler , William Holman
Hunt , and
John Singer Sargent
John Singer Sargent all lived and worked here. There was a
particularly large concentration of artists in the area around Cheyne
Walk and Cheyne Row, where the
Pre-Raphaelite movement had its heart.
Prunella Clough was born in Chelsea in 1919.
Chelsea was also home to writers such as
George Meredith , Algernon
Charles Swinburne , Leigh Hunt and
Thomas Carlyle . Jonathan Swift
lived in Church Lane,
Richard Steele and
Tobias Smollett in Monmouth
House. Carlyle lived for 47 years at No. 5 (now 24) Cheyne Row. After
his death, the house was bought and turned into a shrine and literary
museum by the Carlyle Memorial Trust, a group formed by Leslie Stephen
, father of
Virginia Woolf .
Virginia Woolf set her 1919 novel Night
and Day in Chelsea, where Mrs. Hilbery has a
Cheyne Walk home.
In a book, Bohemia in
Arthur Ransome which is a partly
fictional account of his early years in London, published in 1907 when
he was 23, there are some fascinating, rather over-romanticised
accounts of bohemian goings-on in the quarter. The American artist
Pamela Colman Smith
Pamela Colman Smith , the designer of
A. E. Waite 's
Tarot card pack
and a member of the
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn , features as
"Gypsy" in the chapter "A Chelsea Evening".
A central part of Chelsea's artistic and cultural life was Chelsea
Public Library, originally situated in Manresa Road. Its longest
serving member of staff was Armitage Denton, who joined in 1896 at the
age of 22, and he remained there until his retirement in 1939; he was
appointed Chief Librarian in 1929. In 1980, the building was purchased
Chelsea College of Art and Design
Chelsea College of Art and Design .
Chelsea Collection is a priceless anthology of prints and
pictures of old Chelsea. Begun in 1887, it contains works by artists
as notable and diverse as Rossetti and Whistler. During his time at
the Library, Armitage Denton built the Collection assiduously, so that
by the time of his death in July 1949 it numbered more than 1,000
items. At the end of the 20th century, the Collection totalled more
than 5,000 works, and it continues to grow.
Chelsea Society , formed in 1927, remains an active amenity
society concerned with preserving and advising on changes in Chelsea's
built environment. Chelsea Village and
Chelsea Harbour are new
developments outside of Chelsea itself.
SWINGING CHELSEA AND TODAY
Chelsea shone again, brightly but briefly, in the 1960s Swinging
London period and the early 1970s. The
Swinging Sixties was defined on
King's Road, which runs the length of the area. The Western end of
Chelsea featured boutiques Granny Takes a Trip and The Sweet Shop, the
latter of which sold medieval silk velvet caftans, tabards and floor
cushions, with many of the cultural cognoscenti of the time being
Keith Richards ,
Twiggy , and many others.
The "Chelsea girl" was symbol of, John Crosby wrote, what "men
utterly captivating", with a "'life is fabulous' philosophy". Chelsea
at this time was home to the Beatles and to
Rolling Stones members
Brian Jones ,
Mick Jagger , and
Keith Richards . In the 1970s, the
World\'s End area of
King's Road was home to Malcolm McLaren and
Vivienne Westwood 's boutique "SEX ", and saw the birth of the British
By the late 1970s, the growing bohemian and punk population moved
from Chelsea into nearby
Notting Hill and further north to Camden Town
, with the rapid gentrification of the two areas, both of which remain
places with a significant population of artists, musicians and those
who work in other creative industries, particularly Camden Town.
King's Road remains the major artery through Chelsea and a busy road,
and despite its continuing reputation as a shopping mecca, is now home
to many of the same shops found on other British high streets , such
as Gap , and McDonald\'s .
Sloane Street is quickly catching up with
Bond Street as one of London's premier shopping destinations, housing
a variety of high-end fashion or jewellery boutiques such as Cartier ,
Tiffany & Co , Dolce ">
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David Armstrong-Jones , Viscount Linley.
Anne of Cleves died
Chelsea Manor 1557
* Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban
Hilaire Belloc (Cheyne Walk)
John Betjeman (Radnor Walk)
Honor Blackman (Markham Square)
Dirk Bogarde (Lower Sloane Street)
Marc Isambard Brunel and
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel (civil
engineers); 98 Cheyne Walk
Charles Cadogan, 8th Earl Cadogan
Phyllis Calvert (actress) was born in Chelsea
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Wife of Prince William ) (Old
Thomas Carlyle the "Sage of Chelsea" (24 Cheyne Row – now
National Trust House)
Christian the lion
Eric Clapton (lived on
King's Road during the late 1960s)
Petula Clark (lived at 4 Royal Avenue in the 1980s)
Steve Clark (Spent the last few months of his life there while on
a 6-month leave of absence from
Def Leppard until his death on 8
Steve Coogan used to live in the area in the 90's
Thomas Crapper (plumbing supplies) (King's Road)
* John de Salis , at 12 First Street and then 28 Upper Cheyne Row
(1970s and early 1980s)
George Devine & Jocelyn Herbert (Rossetti Studios,
Flood Street )
George Eliot (spent the last 3 weeks of her life at 4 Cheyne Walk)
T. S. Eliot (19 Carlyle Mansions, Chelsea Embankment)
* Mary, Dowager Viscountess Fane (No. 2, Swan Walk)
John Fraser (botanist) (Paradise Row)
Judy Garland (Spent the last few months of her life there with her
fifth husband until death on 22 June 1969)
Ava Gardner , the Hollywood actress spent the last twenty years of
her life here, until her death in 1990
Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 7th Marquess of Salisbury (Swan Walk)
Elizabeth Gaskell (93 Cheyne Walk)
Adelaide Hall Jazz singer and entertainer lived at 74 Drayton
Gardens with her husband Bert Hicks.
Shirley Maclaine was a neighbour
and very friendly with the Hicks.
James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton Royalist General, owned
Chelsea Place , his
London residence from 1638 until his execution.
* Herbert Hughes (musician) (Old Church Street)
Michael Hutchence (Redburn Street)
Mick Jagger and all the
Rolling Stones (Edith Grove, Cheyne Walk)
Henry James (21 Cheyne Walk)
* William Jones , 18th century wine merchant and naturalist
Jiah Khan (born Nafisa Khan, a British actress who appears in
Sir William Arbuthnot Lane, 1st Baronet CBE and Lady Frittie
Arbuthnot Lane lived at 72 Drayton Gardens (next door to Adelaide Hall
* David Lloyd George, 1st Earl of Lloyd-George (10 Cheyne Walk)
Harold Macmillan , prime minister of the
United Kingdom from 1957
to 1963, was born there in 1894.
Bob Marley composed his hit "I Shot the Sheriff" in a one-bedroom
Cheyne Walk in the mid-1970s.42 Oakley Street
Gavin Maxwell Novelist, journalist, explorer and author of Ring of
Bright Water (9 Paultons Square)
A.A. Milne , playwright and author of
Winnie-the-Pooh , lived at
13 (formerly 11) Mallord Street.
Kylie Minogue (singer, songwriter, actress)
Florence Montgomery Novelist and children's writer
Sir Thomas More
Sir Thomas More Lawyer, philosopher, author, statesman and
John Camden Neild (5 Cheyne Walk)
Laurence Olivier and
Sylvia Pankhurst (Cheyne Walk)
Eduardo Paolozzi (artist & sculptor)
Ramsay Weston Phipps (military historian. 21 Carlyle Square )
Cyril Power (artist and architect) (16 Redcliffe Street)
Mary Quant (
King's Road and Markham Square)
Carol Reed (King's Road)
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (16 Cheyne Walk)
John Shaw Junior , architect of the 19th century
Mary Shelley author of Frankenstein
Osbert Sitwell (Carlyle Square)
George Smiley (9 Bywater Street)
Maggie Smith (actress)
Philip Wilson Steer (109 Cheyne Walk)
Bram Stoker (author of Dracula)
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne (16 Cheyne Walk)
Wilfred Thesiger (Tite Street)
J. R. R. Tolkien (Author of
Lord of the Rings )
J. M. W. Turner (died at 119
Cheyne Walk on 19 December 1851)
Mark Twain (23 Tedworth Square)
James McNeill Whistler
James McNeill Whistler (21, 96 "> The north block of Chelsea
College of Art and Design (formerly the
Royal Army Medical College )
is actually in
Chelsea consists of two main postcodes (SW3 and SW10) but also
includes small sections of SW1. All of Chelsea is, by definition, in
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC). On the eastern
side RBKC meets the borough of the
City of Westminster (COW), this
Chelsea Bridge Road where the postcode is SW1W, with one side
of the road being in COW and the other in RBKC.
The vast majority of Chelsea lies in the prestigious SW3 postcode.
The far west of Chelsea is SW10 and SW5 but due to the absence of tube
coverage in large parts of the Borough, most people in SW10 use Earls
Fulham Broadway tube stations.
The most desirable part of Chelsea is around
Sloane Square and
Knightsbridge tube. Around here, Chelsea meets
Knightsbridge . This
property market attracts considerable (international) attention, and
is a very complex market as it consists mainly of short leases under
Earl Cadogan as freeholder . Much of Chelsea is now viewed as a
"Global Ultra Prime Residential Area". Chelsea pensioners in
scarlet coats and tricorne hats at the Founder's Day parade in the
Royal Hospital Chelsea
Royal Hospital Chelsea
Much of Chelsea (SW3) and
Knightsbridge (SW1X) is still owned by Earl
Cadogan , through the
Cadogan Estates . Most of the property owned is
in and around Cadogan Square. This has a major influence on the
markets as the Earl is the freeholder and generally has no desire to
sell; although changes in legislation now mean the freeholder is
obliged to sell lease extensions to a leaseholder at prices which are
determined by the
Leasehold valuation tribunal . Lord Cadogan is
generally regarded as an effective and successful property
developer/landlord being responsible, together with his management
team, for bringing all of the fashion labels to
Sloane Street , and
also forward thinking developments on his own account at Duke of York
Kings Road , at Peter Jones and on
Sloane Street . The
Cadogan Estate has a considerable portfolio of retail property
throughout Chelsea but notably on
Fulham Road ,
Kings Road , and
Sloane Street including Peter Jones ,
Harvey Nichols , and 12 hotels
Cadogan Hotel . The Estate maintains many of the garden
squares, (to which local residents can gain access by subscribing for
an annual fee – and optionally the tennis courts where applicable).
The area is home to several open spaces including Albert Bridge
Battersea Bridge Gardens,
Chelsea Embankment Gardens, Royal
Hospital Chelsea : the grounds of which are used by the annual Chelsea
Flower Show and
Chelsea Physic Garden
Chelsea Physic Garden .
London Buses serving Chelsea are:
Liverpool Street station
Warren Street Station
Clapham Junction Station
Clapham Junction Station
Liverpool Street station
Clapham Junction Station
Clapham Junction Station
TUBE AND RAIL
Sloane Square tube station
Sloane Square tube station at the western end of the King's
Road, with the Westbourne river pipe
Chelsea town centre does not currently have its own Underground
station, although two stations close to the area are Sloane Square
(District and Circle lines ) on the northeastern edge of the district
South Kensington (District, Circle and Piccadilly lines ).
Wharf railway station at
Chelsea Harbour on the West London
Line , which is on the southwestern edge of Chelsea.
and Southern trains stop here.
A Chelsea railway station (later renamed Chelsea and Fulham)
previously existed on this line, located between the King\'s Road and
Fulham Road in neighbouring Fulham, but this was closed in 1940
following World War II bomb damage and later demolished.
There is a proposal to construct a
Chelsea tube station on the King's
Road as part of the
Crossrail 2 project (also known as the
Chelsea-Hackney line). The project, run by Transport for
London , has
not yet been approved or funded but is at the consultation stage.
According to plans published by TfL in 2008, it is envisaged that the
station would be located on the Dovehouse Green area of King's Road.
* ^ Cremorne, Stanley, Royal Hospital, Redcliffe and Hans town
* ^ Mayor of
London (2008). "Map 5G.1 - Central Activities Zone".
London Plan .
Greater London Authority . Archived from the original on
28 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
* ^ BBC Born Abroad Data. News.bbc.co.uk.
* ^ Lysons, Daniel (1811). The Environs of London: Being an
Historical Account of the Towns, Villages, and Hamlets, Within Twelve
Miles of that Capital: Interspersed with Biographical Anecdotes. 2 (2
ed.). London. p. 45. Retrieved 14 May 2013. the most common mode of
spelling for some centuries after the Conquest, was Chelceth or
Chelchith; in the 16th century it began to be written Chelsey; the
modern way of spelling seems to have been first used about a century
* ^ Open Domesday Online: Chelsea, accessed April 2017
* ^ "The manuscripts, Letter from
Andrew Millar to Andrew Mitchell,
26 August, 1766.
Andrew Millar Project. University of Edinburgh".
www.millar-project.ed.ac.uk. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
* ^ Patricia E.C. Croot (editor) (2004). "Economic history: Trade
and industry". A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 12:
Chelsea. Institute of Historical Research. CS1 maint: Extra text:
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* ^ "Chelsea Bun House",
London Encyclopaedia, Pan Macmillan, 2010,
p. 155, ISBN 9781405049252
* ^ George Bryan (1869), "The Original Chelsea Bunhouse", Chelsea,
in the Olden & Present Times, London, pp. 200–202
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* ^ http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem/chron/ch74.htm#Nov
* ^ Chelsea Common
* ^ Waghorn, Dawn of Cricket, p. 9.
* ^ Buckley, FL18C, p. 8.
* ^ Premiership clubs by fans\' wealth. Talktalk.co.uk.
* ^ A B C D "Historic Chelsea Article".
* ^ "Petula Clark's Downtown townhouse: Singer loved her Chelsea
home so much that she turned up for a nose around... years after
moving out." Retrieved 30 August 2014
* ^ electoral role no 1378
* ^ Archived 11 October 2011 at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ Thwaite, Ann (1990)
A.A. Milne His Life. Faber & Faber.
* ^ ODNB: Charlotte Mitchell, "Montgomery, Florence Sophia
(1843–1923)". Retrieved 13 March 2014"
* ^ Colonel R.W. Phipps (obit). The Times. Thursday 28 June 1923,
p. 16, Issue 43379, Col. D.
* ^ "BBC News Article on
Belgravia Square". 8 March 2010.
* ^ "Open University Article on Sitwell family".
* ^ Obituary: Sir
Wilfred Thesiger 1910 – 2003.
* ^ "Literary Manhattan article on Mark Twain".
* ^ "Private Gynaecologist". Retrieved 28 November 2014.
* ^ "Chelsea & Fulham". Disused Stations. Subterranea Britannica.
Retrieved 31 July 2013.
* ^ "Regional route". Projects and Schemes – Crossrail 2.
Transport for London. Archived from the original on 29 July 2013.
Retrieved 1 August 2013.
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Chelsea) - sheet 16" (PDF). March 2015. Archived (PDF) from the
original on 1 May 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
* Buckley, G. B. (1935). Fresh Light on 18th Century Cricket.
* Buckley, G. B. (1937). Fresh Light on pre-Victorian Cricket.
* Waghorn, H. T. (1906). The Dawn of Cricket. Electric Press.
* Wilson, Martin (2005). An Index to Waghorn. Bodyline.