Chelsea is one of London’s most desirable residential areas and is steeped in history. Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII, lived at Beaufort House until he was beheaded at the Tower of London and King Henry VII owned a manor house in Cheyne Walk. More recently, notable residents have included Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in their student days and more recently Roman Abramovich.
There is world famous shopping on the King’s Road with Peter Jones department store adjoining Sloane Square and a wide variety of restaurants on both the Fulham Road and King’s Road as well as the more hidden boutiques to be found on Chelsea Green and Walton Street. It is also home to Chelsea Football Club, on its border with Fulham.
Chelsea’s distinctive history is a rich one with remarkable ties to horticulturists and artisans stretching back to the 17th and 18th centuries. As a rural area in the 1600’s, Chelsea was famous for its nurseries and market gardens with the Kings Road (so named as it was originally a long private road from St James’ Palace to Fulham) being home to two famous nurseries that imported exotic plants from around the world. Chelsea now hosts one of the most famous flower shows in the world, the Chelsea Flower Show.
In 1682 Charles II commissioned one of the area’s most imposing buildings: the Royal Hospital. Designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren after the style of Paris’ Hotel des Invalides, this building became home to war veterans on its completion in 1692. Remarkably, it remains to this day inhabited by the famous Chelsea Pensioners who wear distinctive scarlet coats and are often seen throughout the local area.
By the 1800’s Chelsea had developed a reputation as a centre for artists and radicals with the famous Chelsea Arts Club opening its doors in 1891. Amongst Chelsea’s most famous artistic residents were Rossetti, Turner and Sargent and writers included Oscar Wilde. In the 1900s Chelsea carried on with its avant-garde reputation becoming the heart of the “Swinging 60s” and home to a long list of famous musicians and fashion designers.
Chelsea still retains a strong sense of its rich history giving the neighbourhood its deep character and charm with a mixture of bohemian cottages, stucco fronted houses and beautiful garden squares.
Sloane Square (District & Circle Lines)
Eight Over Eight
Cheyne Walk Brasserie
Garden House School
Francis Holland School
SP & CO.
Chelsea Health Club
Chelsea Sports Centre