Posts Tagged ‘Ashbee’

More Chelsea

Saturday, September 25th, 2021

Sir Thomas More, St Thomas More Gardens, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-25-positive_2400
Sir Thomas More, St Thomas More Gardens, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-25

My Chelsea walk continued with a little wandering close to the Thames where I found two elderly people contemplating the statue of Sir Thomas More. More (1478-1535) opposed the Reformation and wrote polemics against Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and Tyndale, although he is better known now as the author of ‘Utopia’, published in 1516. But it was his opposition to the politics of a real island, refusing to accept Henry VIII rather than the Pope as supreme head of the Church of England that led to him losing his head at Tower Hill and eventually to his being made a Catholic saint in 1935.

Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-15-positive_2400
Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-15

It was the elegant iron work supporting the balcony that particularly attracted me to 48 Cheyne Walk, though I didn’t think it was particularly improved by the lamp post outside, awkwardly in the pavement, which though of relatively elegant design seemed out of place.

Cheyne Row,  Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-16-positive_2400
Cheyne Row, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5g-16

Cheyne Row leads north away from the river between no 49 and 50 Cheyne Walk and I get confused between the two similarly named streets. This house, known for obvious reasons as Old Sun House at No 2 is the first on its east side.

Boy with a Dolphin, David Wynne, sculpture, Cheyne Walk, Oakley St, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5h-62-positive_2400
Boy with a Dolphin, David Wynne, sculpture, Cheyne Walk, Oakley St, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5h-62

One of several variations on a theme by Sir David Wynne including his Girl with a Dolphin close to St Katherines Dock, this is perhaps the most interesting. I have to admit of not being a great fan. At least two other casts of this sculpture exist, both in the USA.

The model for the boy was Wynne’s son Roland David Amadeus Wynne, then 11. After Roly committed suicide aged 35 in 1999 a plate was added to the statue dedicating it to him.

Cheyne Walk, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988
Cheyne Walk, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-8h-63

Perhaps the only distinctive later building on Cheyne Walk, this Grade II listed house at 38 was designed by Charles Robert Ashbee (1863-1942) one of the leading figures in the Arts and Crafts movements and built around 1900. C R Ashbee like Moore wrote utopias, though his two, like much of his work was very much inspired by William Morris, whose ‘News from Nowhere’ appeared in 1890. He was a prominent homosexual, but he married in 1898 and some years later the couple had four daughters.

Cheyne Walk, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5h-64-positive_2400
Cheyne Walk, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5h-64

C R Ashbee, like More, wrote utopias, though his two, like much of his work was very much inspired by William Morris, whose ‘News from Nowhere’ appeared in 1890. He was a prominent homosexual, but he married in 1898 and some years later the couple had four daughters, one of whom wrote a frank ‘novel’ about the family relationships in which only the names are thought to be fictional.

Thomas Carlyle, Chelsea Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-5h-55-positive_2400
Thomas Carlyle, Chelsea Embankment Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5h-55

I took another picture of Thomas Carlyle sitting on his chair as well as the two in a previous post. I think this perhaps better describes both the statue by Sir Edgar Boehm, erected in 1882, the year after his death and also the surroundings.

Click on any of the pictures to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos. They appear in a different order in the album but in this post are in the order I took them on my walk.


All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.