Visit and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Chelsea, Greater London. Chelsea Bridge was opened in 1858 and rebuilt nearly 80 years later. It marks the eastern extremity of the mile-long Chelsea Embankment, and in Chelsea Bridge Road, which leads to it from the North, entertainment is frequently provided by the Guards drilling in the newly rebuilt Duke of York barracks. On the other side of the same road was the old Ranelagh Gardens, now returned to the pensioners of the Royal Hospital, to whom it belonged.
Chelsea Embankment stretches for over a mile between Chelsea and Battersea Bridges, tree lined, and particularly attractive in late evening. Starting from Chelsea Bridge in the East, there is an entrance to Royal Hospital on the right, and a little further on is Paradise Walk, the first of the delightful 18th-century streets. Then comes the famous Cheyne Walk with large houses behind tall railings, and Chelsea Old Church backing on to it.
Immediately beyond, a small, block of flats, Roper's Orchard, faces its small, sunken Roper's Garden — both named after Sir Thomas More's son-in-law — with mulberry trees and a simple, attractive bronze of a nude girl by Gilbert Ledward. Next is Crosby Hall in Danvers Street.
Chelsea Old Church, Cheyne Walk. Correctly titled All Saints, this church beautifully situated on the corner of Cheyne Walk and Old Church Street, dates from the 12th century but was almost totally destroyed by a landmine in 1941. A great many of the memorials were spared, and have been replaced in their former positions, and the More Chapel, the only part of the old fabric not destroyed, has been incorporated into the new red brick. Sir Thomas More, who then lived nearby, rebuilt this chapel in 1528 as his own; next to it is the tomb of his first wife, which was to receive him and his second wife, but he was executed and his body disappeared. A statue of the saintly Lord Chancellor is nearby.
The church has a square nave with medieval chancel and chapels and, in the entrance of the Lawrence Chapel, a free-standing triumphal arch of 1563 commemorating Richard Jervoise. There are an astonishing number of memorials of all sorts, including one of Sara Colville rising from the tomb in her shroud, and a Baroque piece for Lady Jane Cheyne. Here are reminders of that remarkable 16th-century Chelsea set, and of a span of social history from the 16th to the 18th centuries. There are also some chained books, the only ones in any London church, given by Sir Hans Sloane, for whom a commemorative urn stands unscathed in the churchyard. His statue is in the Physic Gardens down the road. He once owned the Manor of Chelsea and died aged 92 in 1753. His collection formed the basis of the British Museum.
Nearby towns: Battersea, Fulham, Kensington, Pimlico
Nearby suburbs: Bloomsbury, Charing Cross, Covent Garden, Earls Court, Holborn, London, North Kensington, Maida Vale, Marylebone, Mayfair, Notting Hill, Paddington, Putney, South Kensington, Victoria, Wandsworth, West Brompton, West Kensington, Westminster
Have you decided to visit or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a bed and breakfast (a B&B or b and b)
- a guesthouse
- a hotel (or motel)
- a self-catering establishment, or
- other accommodation