Cheyne Walk in London’s Chelsea “Rolling Stones Row”
Cheyne Walk in London’s Chelsea is one of the most iconic residential streets in the world. A long parade separated from the River Thames and Chelsea embankment by only long narrow green spaces or gardens.
The green spaces merely serve to screen the ground floor entrances from the hoi polloi passing by on Chelsea Embankment. The properties have fabulous views of the River Thames and beyond from their upper floors over the bushes and small trees.
The mixture of 17th, 18th and 19th century properties vary in size from huge to humble. The varied design of the town houses and mansions make each slightly unique. Each built vaguely in keeping with the next and often in filling a former gap between two properties. The street certainly has an elegance you don’t get with uniform rows of ubiquitous design. 50 Cheyne Walk was once a victorian pub today it is a chic brasserie and bar, Cheyne Walk Brasserie.
Residents of Wealth and taste
Bram Stoker author of Dracular once lived at number 27. Number 4 acquired recently by Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was once the home of George Eliot. Arist Turner lived and died at number 119. Which James Bond author Ian Flemming would later call home. A former British Prime minister David Lloyd George lived at number 10.
The list of previous distinguished residents too long to list here reads like a whos who of histories renowned Aristocrats, Artists, authors, musicians, politicians, Poets, sporting heroes, and now rock stars. Nick named by some “Rolling Stones Row” due to its popularity with band members of the Rolling Stones.
Cheyne Walk was once even home to the King. A blue plaque marks the former spot of the Kings Manor house. “King Henry VIII’s Manor House stood here until 1753 when it was demolished after the death of its last occupant, Sir Hans Sloane. Nos. 19 to 26 Cheyne Walk were built on its site in 1759-65. The old manor house garden still lies beyond the end wall of Cheyne Mews and contains some mulberry trees said to have been planted by Queen Elizabeth I”.
From fit for king to being too far from a Kings Road
like many and most the street has had mixed fortunes. From fit for king to being too far from a Kings Road. Until 1830 The Kings Road in Chelsea was the Kings private road. Kings Road opened to the public in 1830, previously only used by Royalty and consorts travelling to Kew. So it was often more desirable to have property closer to the Kings Road. Cheyne Walk is a short walk from the Kings Road but next to the river is as far south as you get from it on dry land.
So at times the reason Cheyne walk was home to Artists was because it was the cheap end of Chelsea. This also saved the street from redevelopment or extensive unsympathetic alterations. Although many have undergone extensive internal modernisation in recent decades. The streets surrounding the Kings Road has had most of its original single homes split into small flats today. But most Cheyne Walk properties remain large family homes. And the period facades add not only to the streets charm but also modern day property prices.
Rolling Stones Row
The rolling Stones first flat in Edith Grove was just a short walk away from Cheyne Walk but a whole world away in affordability. The rolling stones musical success was clearly providing significant financial rewards by the late 1960’s. Both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards purchased properties in Cheyne walk in 1968. They would have been London homes until the band famously left the UK for France due to punitive new Tax’s in 1971.
Number 3 Cheyne Walk
Keith Richards lived at number 3 with girlfriend Anita Pallenberg. Built in 1717 and once home to a British navy admiral Willian Henry Smyth. Keith Richards purchased it in 1968 and sold it in 1978.
Number 48 Cheyne Walk
Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful lived at number 48, purchased in 1968 for £50,000. Mick Jagger sold the property in the late 1970s. Sir Mick Jagger returned to Cheyne Walk again most recently purchasing the former house of Renowned British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Number 103 Cheyne Walk
Ronnie wood purchased 103 in 2008 for £7.25 Million. Number 103 Cheyne Walk originally built in the 1700s. The house has converted river frontage on the Thames. Ronnie Wood reportedly never lived in 103. He sold the house just a few years later.
The list of renowned residents looks set to continue with Russian billionaire businessmen and Rock Stars calling each other neighbours today. Many homes in London come with long histories. But the evocative stories and images the previous residents of these homes have must be an estate agents dream. The future of Cheyne Walk and list of who lives and lived here is very much a story to be continued.
Explore Cheyne Walk Yourself in this interactive map
Check out another posts about London’s Chelsea at Christmas here