Posts Tagged ‘mansions’

Around Lots Road

Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

For various reasons the pictures in my albums online are not always in the order that they are taken, but it often makes more sense to write about them in the same order as I walked around taking them – which I can normally see from the contact sheets I made at the time. Usually too these contact sheets identify at least the rough locations of the images, though I often have to resort to maps and sometimes Google Streetview to find the precise spot. Chelsea hasn’t changed radically since I took these pictures but in some other areas this can be impossible. How I wish we had GPS on cameras back in 1986 – and I’m surprised so few cameras incorporate it now.

Westfield Park, Tetcott Rd, Lots Rd Power Station, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-16-positive_2400
Westfield Park, Tetcott Rd, Lots Rd Power Station, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5j-16

Most people know Lots Road because of the power station of the same name which was built to power the District Railway (now the District Line.) Completed in 1905, it enabled the line, most of which in central London is underground, to convert from steam to electric traction, which must have made it very much more pleasant to use.

Lots Rd, Chelsea,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-5k-62-positive_2400
Lots Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-62

The power station, which has Chelsea Creek on one side and Lots Road on the other finally closed in 2002 and the area on both sides of the creek was developed as Chelsea Waterfront. The development only began in 2013, delayed both by having to get planning permission from both Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham and then by the financial crash and was finally due to be completed in 2021. The power station should by now be “193 highest quality luxury loft-style apartments together with high-class restaurants, bar, cafes, boutique shops and a health & fitness club.”

Lots Rd, Chelsea,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-63-positive_2400
Lots Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-63

As the pictures show, I wandered a little around the area before returning east along Cremorne Road and Cheyne Walk to Battersea Bridge where I took a bus back to Clapham Junction.

Tadema Rd, Chelsea,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-5k-64-positive_2400
Tadema Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-64

Tadema Road runs north from Lots Road and I doubt if I walked far up it. It’s hard now to see where this Cafe could have been.

Cremorne Rd, Chelsea,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-66-positive_2400
Cremorne Rd, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-66

I had wandered perhaps up Tadema Road to Cremorne Road some way west from its junction with Lots Road to get to Cornwall Mansions at left of this picture, which is looking east past the junction with Edith Grove with a small part of the World’s End Estate towering in the right half of the picture.

Ornamental gate, Cremorne Gardens, Chelsea,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-52-positive_2400
Ornamental gate, Cremorne Gardens, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-52

I walked back east on Cremorne Road to the junction with Lots Road and back down on to the riverside Cremorne Gardens. A house was built here around 1750 and later became home to the 1st Viscount Cremorne, an Irish peer from County Monaghan who gave it his name – which came from the Irish for ‘Mountains of Morne’. Charles Random De Berenger, Baron De Beaufain, (actually a fraud called Charles Random) bought the house and grounds here in 1831, turning into a sports club and adding some popular attractions including balloon ascents. The business failed in 1843 and was reopened in 1845 by James Ellis as the Cremorne Pleasure Gardens, with entertainment including concerts, fireworks, balloon ascents and galas. It closed in 1875, losing its licence with accusations that it was a “nursery of every kind of vice”. Much of the gardens were then built over then and later in the 20th century by the 1960s Cremorne Estate. A small riverside garden was re-established and opened in 1981, and the gate which had originally been at the King’s Road end of the Cremorne gardens was re-erected here, having spent the interim at Watney’s Brewery.

Chelsea Wharf, River Thames, Chelsea,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-53-positive_2400
Chelsea Wharf, River Thames, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-53

I think this view was taken looking upriver from one of the two landing stages at Cremorne Gardens.

Houseboats, River Thames, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-5k-55-positive_2400
Houseboats, River Thames, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-55

I think this view is from Old Ferry Wharf, which is actually on Cheyne Walk. The bridge is Battersea Bridge.

Houseboats, River Thames, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988  88-5k-42-positive_2400
Houseboats, River Thames, Chelsea Embankment, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-42-positive_2400

Another view from a little further east.

Cheyne Walk, Chelsea,  Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-56-positive_2400
Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-56-positive_2400

These houses at left are on the corner with Blantyre St. The blue plaque at No 120 marks where Sylvia Pankhurst (1882-160) lived as an impoverished art student from 1906-09.

Whistler's House, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-31-positive_2400
Whistler’s House, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Kensington & Chelsea, 1988 88-5k-31

James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s house at 98 Cheyne Walk. Some of his best-known pictures show the Thames at Cremorne Gardens. The house next door to the right, hardly visible from the road, was the home of both Sir Marc Isambard Brunel and his son ¬†Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Click on any image to see a larger version in the album 1988 London Photos, from where you can browse the whole album.


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Chelsea – Social Cleansing

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021

The Gateways, Sprimont Place, College Place,  Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-43-positive_2400
The Gateways, Sprimont Place, College Place, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-43

The Gateways is a block of houses with a difference and though it may look ancient, was built in 1934 in a Tudor Revival style to designs by Herbert Winkler Wills (1864-1937) and William Kaula. Certainly unusual but not greatly to my liking the whole block was Grade II listed in 1993, some under the address Whitehead’s Grove.

Chelsea Green, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-45-positive_2400
Chelsea Green, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-45

All that remains of the old Chelsea Common is a small triangle at this road junction with two small fenced plots of grass, each with a small tree, separated by a footpath through its centre, room on both sides for a couple of park benches and a rubbish bin or two.

Chelsea Green, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-46-positive_2400
Chelsea Green, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-46

Stepping a few feet gave a clearer view of the pub, still now open but called The Wild Tavern, and the buildings down Elystan Place which are a part of The Gateways, with some good brickwork.

Bray Place, Draycott Ave, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-51-positive_2400
Bray Place, Draycott Ave, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988

The ornate ironwork around and in the door of 5 Bray Place finds an echo in the window opposite. This doorway has now been converted into a rather plain window and there are other changes to the exterior of the building. It remains a restaurant but with a different name under different management.

Blacklands Terrace, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-52-positive_2400
Blacklands Terrace, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-52

This building is on Blacklands Terrace, but confusingly has the address 18 Culford Gardens, which it and the building to its right stand on the corner of. I don’t know when it was built – or perhaps when this frontage was added, but it was very different from the properties around. The ground floor has since been altered and is now less starkly geometrical.

Avenue Court, Draycott Avenue, Knightsbridge, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-61-positive_2400
Avenue Court, Draycott Avenue, Knightsbridge, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-61

Draycott Avenue is lined with large and rather boring appartment blocks, mainly in red brick, which are slightly enlivened by some impressive doorways – and I think this is the most impressive. Most of these large blocks of flats were built in the 1930s, replacing streets of smaller houses. In Pevsner’s The Buildings of England London NW it describes them as “enormous and forbidding blocks of flats, either cautiously Art Deco or approximately neoGeorgian in style.”

Avenue Court, Draycott Avenue, Knightsbridge, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-01-positive_2400
Avenue Court, Draycott Avenue, Knightsbridge, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-01
Sloane Avenue Mansions, Sloane Avenue, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-62-positive_2400
Sloane Avenue Mansions, Sloane Avenue, Chelsea, Kensington and Chelsea, 1988 88-5a-62

Sloane Avenue Mansions also dates from the 1930s, redeveloping an area of smaller houses but was designed by G. Kay Green in a more modern style with touches of Art Deco. Built in 1931-3, it towers 11 stories above the street, though appears slightly less massive as the top two are set back slightly. Around 20,000 working class people had lived in homes around here that were cleared after the company decided to redevelop the area in 1908, though much of the area remained empty or full of part-demolished slums until the 1930s. The large blocks of flats were usually provided with underground garages for the wealthy flat-dweller.

Click on any of the images to go to a larger version in my album 1988 London Photos, where you can browse through the rest of the images in the album.


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.