Cheyne Walk looking east from Cheyne Row circa 1870 - 19th Century

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Cheyne Walk looking east from Cheyne Row circa 1870 - 19th Century

It is difficult to imagine that this is exactly the same spot. But this was the scene before the arrival of the Embankment. The fence on the right marks the river edge. This now where Embankment Gardens stand. On the right the houses of Cheyne Walk can be seen. The Thames was reduced to a uniform width of about 700 feet.

Although this scene looks very picturesque reality was not quite so rosy. The Thames regularly flooded and the area became very muddy. The smell was awful and diseases rife. There was a lot of industry along the river bringing yet more pollution. However, the views here were much admired by artists. Turner, Whistler and Greaves have all captured for posterity the lovely lost riverside of Chelsea.

Copyright: the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Libraries (RBKC Libraries)
Location of original: SB02 CM998

See also:

Virtual Museum – The History of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
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