Anyone who’s anyone has lived on Cheyne Walk, dahling.
Having survived Romans, plagues, fires, and the Blitz, London has a fair bit of history to stand on. And whilst you can go all over town to see it, there’s one street that stands out for the insane number of famous people who’ve lived on it. For almost three hundred years, Chelsea’s Cheyne Walk has been home to faces from the worlds of music, politics, art, and literature. The street’s residents have earned it a staggering ten blue plaques, awarded for historical importance (presumably with more to come). Let’s take a stroll down this famous road and see who appears, shall we?
We’ll start at Number 3, with your friendly neighbourhood rock star, Keith Richards. Number 4 has also been a home to celebrities, as novelist George Eliot (real name: Mary Anne Evans) died here, and the current tenant is former New York City mayor and media mogul Michael Bloomberg. He’s not the only politician to have lived on Cheyne Walk: former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George spent time at Number 10.
Moving up to Number 14, we find the former home of philosopher Bertrand Russell. Meanwhile, Number 16 has had two equally famous residents: maverick Romantic Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Victorian poet Algernon Charles Swinburne. Dracula author Bram Stoker spent time at Number 27, whilst intelligence officer and suspected spy Guy Liddell made his home at Number 42. During their whirlwind romance, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull took up residence in Number 48.
Sick of the famous people yet? I hope not, because we aren’t done. A pair of celebrated authors claim neighbouring houses – Ken Follett at 92, and Elizabeth Gaskell at 93. Sir Marc Brunel, designer of the Thames Tunnel, left Number 98 to a more famous relative: his son, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. At Number 100, you’ll find Chelsea FC owner and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. Cheyne Walk claims a third Rolling Stone at Number 119, where Ronnie Wood owns the house that painter JMW Turner died in.
Phew. Onto Number 120, where Sylvia Pankhurst briefly lived, before our final stop at Number 122. This is a block of flats, one that’s hosted multiple literary luminaries: T.S. Eliot, Henry James, W. Somerset Maugham, and James Bond author Ian Fleming all lived here at one stage or another. Meanwhile, Laurence Oliver, George Best, and Fleetwood Mac co-founder Mick Fleetwood have all lived along Cheyne Walk. And on top of all that, in 1972, Number 96 hosted a summit between the IRA and the British Government.
Damn. Kind of puts your sleepy suburb street to shame, doesn’t it?
Featured image: @victoriastonelondon