Chelsea Walk - Cheyne Walk 1-30

Behind every door of these tall elegant houses there is a story to tell. Henry VIII's Manor House and Winchester House once dominated the riverside. Since the 18th century Cheyne Walk has attracted famous people from all walks of life and continues to do so. It is only possible to mention a few of them here.

Starting at the small crescent Bram Stoker (1847-1912), creator of Dracula, resided at number 27 for a short time. George Best (1946-2005), the legendary footballer, lived in a flat next door.

John Salter, formerly a valet to Sir Hans Sloane, opened his renowned coffee house at number 18 in 1718. Don Saltero's was very popular, in part owing to Salter's large collection of curiosities which he called his Knackatory. By 1800 under new ownership it became a pub and in 1867 converted into a private house.

Stories abound of Rossetti's stay at number 16 along with friends and a large menagerie of exotic animals. Sir Paul Getty, the billionaire philanthropist, lived here in the 1980s.

Number 15 was a favourite with Admirals; the first occupier was Admiral Sir John Balchin. For many years it belonged to the Allason family, well known for their political and literary activities. Another even more successful politician lived at number 10, David Lloyd George.

The Italian doctor Dominicetti opened a medicinal baths at 6 Cheyne Walk. People looking for a quick cure flocked to his practice between 1765 and 1782. Unfortunately to little avail, as he was a quack.

Another character, James Neild, resided at number 5. A miser and eccentric to the end, he left £500,000 to Queen Victoria.

On 22 December 1880, Marian Cross, better known as George Eliot, died at 4 Cheyne Walk.

Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg arrived at number 3 in the summer of 1969. Included in their packing was the bed used for the love scenes in the film Performance between Mick Jagger and Anita. Another hang out for the Chelsea Drug Squad, Keith graphically described the morning he woke to find half the team in his bedroom. The house was decorated in black and dark purple. In 1971 the entire contents was transferred to the South of France, where all was faithfully recreated.

Directions: At the end of Cheyne Walk cross at the junction and walk along the north side of the Embankment.

Watercolour of numbers 1 to 18 Cheyne Walk showing a tavern and grand houses

Cheyne Walk looking east from Don Saltero's Tavern in 1850 by T H Shepherd
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Photograph of 1-30 Cheyne Walk showing river view just before the building of the Embankment

Cheyne Walk in 1860s looking east just before the building of the Embankment
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Virtual Museum – The History of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
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