Cheyne Walk forms part of the A3212 and A3220 trunk roads; it extends eastwards from the southern end of Finborough Road past the Battersea and Albert Bridges, after which the A3212 becomes the Chelsea Embankment. It marks the boundary of the, now withdrawn, extended London Congestion Charge Zone.
East of the Walk is the Chelsea Physic Garden with its cedars. To the West is a collection of residential houseboats which have been in situ since the 1930s.
Cheyne Walk takes its name from William Lord Cheyne who owned the manor of Chelsea until 1712. Most of the houses were built in the early 18th century. Before the construction in the 19th century of the busy Embankment, which now runs in front of it, the houses fronted the River Thames. The most prominent building is Carlyle Mansions.
In 1972, number 96 Cheyne Walk, the then home of Philip Woodfield, a British civil servant, was the site of a top secret meeting between the British government and the leadership of the Provisional IRA aimed at ending the violence in Northern Ireland. The talks were inconclusive and the violence soon started again.
Many famous people have lived (and continue to live) in the Walk:
- Sir John Scott Lillie, JP, decorated Peninsular War veteran, Deputy Lieutenant of Middlesex, inventor and political activist lived at no. 12, (previously, no. 13) Cheyne Walk and added a floor to it. The building was demolished in 1887, but elements from it were later used in the reconstruction of 1, Cheyne Walk.
- Admiral William Henry Smyth, and later Keith Richards, lived at number 3, which in 1945 became a National Trust property housing the Benton Fletcher collection of keyboard instruments.
- George Eliot spent the last three weeks of her life at number 4.
- Vera Brittain, novelist and pacifist, and her husband, George Catlin, lived at number 2 before and during the Second World War.
- The miser John Camden Neild lived at number 5.
- Also Howard Frank English estate agent and co-founder of the Knight Frank estate agent chain.
- Sir Arthur Sullivan English composer,attended a bearding school at no.6,in 1854.
- David Lloyd George lived at number 10.
- Sir George Scott Robertson,Colonial Administrator & traveler in Afghanistan,lived at No.11
- and also Sir Colin Scott-Moncrieff,British civil engineer,most notably in colonial Egypt
- Ralph Vaughan Williams lived at number 13 from 1905 to 1928. There he wrote works including his first three symphonies, the Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, The Lark Ascending, and Hugh the Drover.
- Bertrand Russell lived at number 14 in 1902
- The landscape painter Cecil Gordon Lawson lived at number 15 (a number of his works still hang there) …
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti lived at number 16 (where he was banned from keeping peacocks due to the noise) from 1862 to 1882 …
- Thomas Attwood (composer) (1765–1838) lived at No 17 for some years up to his death in 1838. He was organist at St Paul's Cathedral from 1796, and of the Chapel Royal from 1836. He was a pupil of Mozart. Thomas Attwood is buried in the crypt of St Paul's underneath the organ.
- No 18 was renowned for being the home of the curious museum (knackatory) and tavern known as Don Saltero's Coffee House. The proprietor was James Salter, who was for many years the servant of Sir Hans Sloane.
- Sir Hans Sloane’s manor house, demolished in 1760, stood at numbers 19–26.
- No 19 was site of the horrific 1973 killing of elderly widow Isabella Griffith,by the serial killer Patrick Mackay.
- James Abbott McNeill Whistler lived at numbers 21 (1890–92), 72 (? to his death there in 1903), 96 (1866–78) and 101 (1863) at different times.
- Bram Stoker Irish theatre manager & novelist,author of Dracula,lived at No.27
- Nicolaus Ludwig, Imperial Count von Zinzendorf und Pottendorf, and the Brethren of the Moravian Church renovated Lindsey House at numbers 99–100 in Cheyne Walk in the mid-18th century; it was for a number of years the headquarters of their worldwide missionary activity. Moravian Close nearby is still the London God's Acre, where many famous Moravians are buried.
- James Clerk Maxwell lived at 41 while lecturing at King's College London in the early 1860s. He used the iron railings outside his home in two experiments on electro-magnetic fields, much to the dismay of friends and foreigners.
- Mortimer Menpes, the watercolourist and etcher, shared a flat with Whistler.
- Guy Liddell, British Intelligence officer, lived in a flat in the present Shrewsbury House, No.42 Cheyne Walk.
- Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull lived at number 48 in 1968.
- Charles Edward Mudie, English publisher and founder of Mudie's Lending Library, was born 1818 in Cheyne Walk; where his father owned a Circulating library, stationery and book binding business at No. 89.
- Artist Charles Conder lived at 91 Cheyne Walk, 1904–1906
- The chemist Charles Hatchett, the poet William Bell Scott, and the anatomist John Marshall lived at Belle Vue House, number 92.
- Elizabeth Gaskell was born at number 93.
- Diana Mitford lived at number 96 with her first husband Bryan Guinness in 1932.
- Sir Marc Brunel, who designed the Thames Tunnel, lived at number 98 …
- as did his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
- Hugh Lane, art dealer, collector and founder of the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art lived at number 100 (Lindsey House) from 1909 until his death on the RMS Lusitania in 1915.
- Roman Abramovich. Russian multi-millionaire,owner of Chelsea F.C owns No.101
- John Sainsbury, multimillionaire part Sainsbury founder, lived at number 103
- Hilaire Belloc lived at number 104, as did the artist Walter Greaves
- John Tweed, sculptor and friend of Auguste Rodin, lived at number 108.
- Sir Philip Steer lived at number 109.
- J. M. W. Turner died at number 119 in 1851.
- Sylvia Pankhurst lived at number 120 after leaving university.
- Peter Warlock,English composer,lived at No.122,in 1921
- Carlyle Mansions
- Richard Addinsell,English composer,lived in flat 1.
- Gordon Harker,English actor,lived in flat 11.
- Edward Robey,lawyer in the Acid Bath Murders case of the serial killer John George Haigh,in flat 11.
- T. S. Eliot, American poet and writer,lived in flat 19.
- Shapur Kharegat, journalist, editor and former Asia Director of The Economist lived at flat 17.
- John Davy Hayward.Theatre & literary critic,lived in flat 19.
- Henry James spent his last years & died here in flat 21.
- Erskine Childers lived in flat 20,with his family, and wrote his novel The Riddle of the Sands there as well. He also lived at 16 Cheyne Gardens for several years.
- Ian Fleming.Novelist,Intelligence officer.Creator of spy James Bond,lived in flat 24. He also lived briefly at No.122 Cheyne Walk
- W. Somerset Maugham, British novelist,lived in flat 27.
- Lionel Davidson lived at Carlyle Mansions from 1976 to 1984, where he wrote The Chelsea Murders, a CWA Gold Dagger winner.
- Sol Campbell has a six-storey, five bedroom house in Cheyne Walk,and an apartment in Carlyle Mansions
- Edith Cheesman, watercolour artist, lived at number 127 in 1911,since demolished & now covered by the World's End Estate,where The Clash frontman Joe Strummer lived.
- George Weidenfeld, publisher, who became Lord Weidenfeld of Chelsea, lived here from the 1960s until his death on 20 January 2016.
- George Best once had a flat there.
- Laurence Olivier and Jill Esmond lived there in the 1930s.
- Mary Sidney lived at Crosby Hall from 1609 to 1615
- In July 1972, during a short-lived ceasefire, an IRA delegation that included Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness held talks in a house in Cheyne Walk with a British government team led by NI Secretary William Whitelaw.
- The Old Cheyneans – former pupils of Sloane Grammar School, Hortensia Road, Chelsea – take their name from the association with Cheyne Walk and Sir Hans Sloane who lived there.
- Colin Colahan.Australian painter & sculptor,lived in Cheyne Walk.
- Augustus Pugin.English architect,known for his work on the Palace of Westminster,lived briefly on Cheyne Walk,in 1841.
- The climax of The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles is set at number 16.
- In Stormbreaker, Alex Rider directs his cab to his home in Cheyne Walk, London.
- Thomas Carnacki lived in a flat at 472 Cheyne Walk.
- Sâr Dubnotal owned a house in Cheyne Walk.
- In the episode "The Constant" (Season 4, Episode 5) of Lost, Penelope Widmore lives in number 423.
- In Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series, Simon and Deborah St James live and work on Cheyne Walk.
- In Timothy Findley's Pilgrim, the eponymous main character is a former resident of Cheyne Walk.
- In Iris Murdoch's A Word Child, Gunnar Jopling and his second wife, Lady Kitty, lived here.
- In Daniel Silva's The Defector, the Russian billionaire Viktor Orlov lives at number 43.
- Margaret Prior, the protagonist of Sarah Waters' Affinity lives on Cheyne Walk.
- Katherine Hilbery, the protagonist of Virginia Woolf's second novel, Night and Day lives on Cheyne Walk with her parents.
- Sean Dillon a recurring character from author Jack Higgins has a home in Cheyne Walk.
- Lady Celia Lytton and members of her family live in a house on Cheyne Walk for more than half a century in Penny Vincenzi's trilogy, The Spoils of Time.
- Richard Bolitho's mistress Lady Catherine Somervell kept a house on Cheyne Walk as mentioned in Alexander Kent's novel, The Darkening Sea.
- In Cassandra Clare's 'The Infernal Devices' series, werewolf Woolsey Scott lives at No.16.
- In Roald Dahl's 'My Uncle Oswald' the protagonist lives with his parents in Cheyne Walk at the start of the story.
References and sources
- "The Gentleman's Magazine". google.com.
- Thomas Burrows, Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg buys £17m seven-bed Thames-side mansion once owned by 'George Eliot', The Daily Mail, July 27, 2015
- Damer Dawson's plaque, LondonRemembers.com, retrieved 20 July 2014
- Frege, Gottlob. 1980. Philosophical and Mathematical Correspondence. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 147–155. ISBN 0 631 19620 X
- Pamela Todd, Pre-Raphaelites at Home, Watson-Giptill Publications, ISBN 0-8230-4285-5
- Obituary, The Independent, 14 June 2001
- "No. 72, Cheyne Walk". british-history.ac.uk.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 November 2011. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
- Faithfull, Marianne (1995). Faithfull. Penguin. p. 223. ISBN 0-14-024653-3.
- London and Country Directory, 1811
- Article titled "Mudie's" in the 'London Echo'
- "Charles Conder" by Ann Galbally and Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of NSW., 2003, p.200, ISBN 978-0-7347-6343-3
- Godfrey, Walter Hindes (1913). "Belle Vue House, No. 92, Cheyne Walk". Survey of London, vol. 4: Chelsea, pt II. British History Online. pp. 31–32. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- "Diana Mosley". google.com.
- O'Byrne, Robert Hugh Lane 1875–1915. Lilliput Press, 2000, p. 118.
- Riley-Smith, Ben (30 September 2014). "Sol Campbell attacks Labour's mansion tax in scathing series of tweets". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Stourton, James (2012). Great Houses of London (Hardback). London: Frances Lincoln. ISBN 978-0-7112-3366-9.