Forget Mullholland Drive and Fifth Avenue, they’ve got nothing on Chelsea’s Cheyne Walk, a short stroll from Sloane Street, when it comes to famous residents.
It was Henry VIII who built the first notable address on Cheyne Walk, the Manor of Chelsea, in 1536. He lived there sporadically in his manor house with some of his wives, including Lady Jane Grey and Anne of Cleves, and Elizabeth I lived there as a princess.
In 1655, Charles Cheyne marries Jane Cavendish, a wealthy lady whose family owned land in London – and with her dowry, he was able to buy the manor house, which was modernised and renamed Chelsea Place. The property passed to his son William, for whom the street is named, who sold it to Sir Hans Sloane in 1712.
French-born engineer Sir Marc Isambaard Brunel, father of Isambaard Kingdom Brunel, the very clever clap who built the Great Western Railway and Paddington Station, lived at number 98 Cheyne walk from 1808 to 1825.
Joseph Mallord William Turner, one of the most famous landscape painter ever born, lived at 119 as an old man until his death in 1851. He was inspired by the river below his home and had a balcony built so he could see it better.
Another celebrated artist, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, lived at number 16 for 20 years from 1862. He kept a menagerie of animals there, including armadillos, kangaroos, wombats and peacocks.
In 1880 George Eliot, the Victorian author who wrote Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda, moved in to number 4. She lived there for just a few weeks before she died of a kidney infection.
Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and artist William Holman Hunt also resided on the street.
But Cheyne Walk’s residents weren’t all so genteel… raucous Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger lived at number 48 with Marianne Faithful, and Keith Richards lived at number 3 in the Sixties, when Chelsea was a hive of mods and rockers.
Take a stroll down after shopping on Sloane Street and soak up the atmosphere of the beautiful street where some of Britain’s most famous names once lived.