The district of Chelsea is part of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The River Thames forms the southern border, running along the Chelsea Embankment, Cheyne Walk, Lots Road and Chelsea Harbour. The eastern boundary is Chelsea Bridge Road, the lower half of Sloane Street, including Sloane Square. To the north and north-west, the area meets Knightsbridge and South Kensington, but it is fair to say that the area north of King’s Road as far north-west as Fulham Road is part of Chelsea.
HISTORY OF CHELSEA
The first record of the Manor of Chelsea precedes the Domesday Book and the area was acquired by King Henry VIII from Lord Sandys in 1536. Chelsea was originally a bohemian quarter, popular with artists, painters and poets, who sadly are no longer able to afford to live in the area.
The Cadogan Estate was established in 1717 when Charles, 2nd Baron Cadogan married Elizabeth Sloane, daughter of Sir Hans Sloane who had purchased the Manor of Chelsea in 1712. At this time it included 11 houses, a selection of tenements and 166 acres. Sir Hans Sloane was an eminent physician, antiquarian and collector who planned to retire to Chelsea and accommodate his extensive collection in the Manor House. In 1737 he added further to his estate by purchasing Sir Thomas More’s former home, Beaufort House (and 10 acres). In 1777 Charles Sloane, then Earl Cadogan, granted a lease to the architect Henry Holland for the development of ‘Hans Town’, the area of fields between Knightsbridge and the King’s Road. Prior to this, fields covered most of Chelsea and the main focus of settlement was by the river and Chelsea Old Church. Holland created Sloane Street, Hans Place and later Sloane Square as well as designing the street layout, building houses and selling speculative building rights on the development.
PROPERTY IN CHELSEA
Chelsea offers a wide range of property from pretty terraced houses in Jubilee Place and pastel coloured houses on Bywater Street. Grand detached and semi-detached town houses can be found in The Boltons and imposing houses with views of the River Thames can be found along Cheyne Walk. There are many red brick mansion buildings in Flood Street for example, and nineteenth century property available in old Chelsea, the original village by the River Thames, such as Carlyle Mansions on Cheyne Walk or terraced houses on Cheyne Row. In addition, there are numerous new developments like Chelsea Harbour and Grosvenor Riverside offering splendid apartment living and there are also many beautiful garden squares to buy property in like Paulton’s Square, Markham Square and Wellington Square, all found on either side of King’s Road. The original Chelsea Barracks, a thirteen acre site on the side of Chelsea Bridge Road, is currently being redeveloped by Qatari Diar and will offer a range of super-prime apartments and townhouses totalling 448 new homes.
LIVING IN CHELSEA
The renowned King’s Road once famed as the centre of the swinging sixties is a famous shopping destination. The John Lewis store in Sloane Square more or less sales everything one could possibly need. Also in Sloane Square is The Royal Court theatre, which is very popular with locals. The Chelsea Flower Show in May each year at The Royal Hospital Chelsea, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, is world renowned. The Royal Hospital is particularly famous for it’s Chelsea pensioners who you can’t miss in their distinct red tunics. Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea football club sits to the west of the area bordering Fulham. There are many great restaurants and gastro pubs throughout Chelsea such as The Cheyne Walk Brasserie on Cheyne Walk and Italian favourite Caraffini on Lower Sloane Street. Newly developed Duke of York’s Square on King’s Road next to Sloane Square is home to the Saatchi Gallery showing excellent modern exhibits and has a wonderful food market every Saturday, , unless you prefer well known family run food store Patridges opposite. Modern European cuisine can be found at the Bluebird Restaurant as well as newly joined Ivy Garden Chelsea, both on the Kings Road with generous outside dining. The area of Fulham Road known as ‘The Beach’ is very popular with the younger crowd with it’s 24-hour restaurant Vingt-Quatre along with various other restaurants and bars.
SCHOOLS IN CHELSEA
Garden House School and Hill House International Junior School are among the best in London.