The present volume,—the fourth in the Survey of London,—completes the records of the Parish of Chelsea, with the exception
only of the Royal Hospital and the Old Church. The two last–named will be described in a subsequent volume, and with them
will be included the monuments in the various Burial Grounds of the
Parish. With these exceptions, the two parts now published cover the
whole parish and all its existing buildings erected prior to the year 1800.
Following the lines laid down in Part I., which included the river front
between the Royal Hospital and the Old Church, we have continued along the
Thames as far as Turner's House, and on to Stanley House at the extreme
western point of the parish, and have then retraced our steps eastwards
along the King's Road, taking each street that leads to the river, in its turn.
It is necessary to remind our readers again, that the historical and
descriptive matter in the letterpress, is subservient to the more important
drawings and photographs, which constitute the actual Survey. The
number of these reproduced here form only a proportion of the actual
collection in the hands of the Council. Considerable research has, however,
been made into the history of the buildings themselves, and of such historic
sites as those of Danvers House, Beaufort House (formerly the home of
Sir Thomas More) and the old Manor House. The work of the existing
authorities has been brought up to date in the light of recent discoveries
and an attempt has been made to interpret the information available, as
definitely and concisely as possible.
It is a duty to acknowledge the work of past writers who have laid
the foundations of the history of Chelsea. Bowack (Antiquities of Middlesex, 1705); Faulkner (Chelsea and its Environs, 2nd Ed., 1829); Beaver
(Memorials of Old Chelsea, 1892), supply a large amount of material ready
to hand. Mr. Randall Davies, whose account of Chelsea Old Church,
embodies so much valuable research, has further laid the Survey Committee under a special obligation by placing his MS. notes at our disposal.
Generous help has been also accorded us by Mr. J. Henry Quinn, of the
Chelsea Public Library (who has accumulated there a large amount of
splendid local material), by Mr. Walter L. Spiers, of the Soane Museum,
and by the staff of the London County Council. The thanks of the Committee are due to the owners of the properties described, for their ready
co-operation, and to the following, for kind permission to reproduce drawings in their possession:—The Marquess of Salisbury, The Soane Museum,
the Chelsea Public Library, and to the proprietors of the Architectural
Review for the loan of the blocks relating to Beaufort or Danvers House.
The illustrations have been mainly selected from drawings and
photographs made by members of the Survey Committee. For work on
the Chelsea rate-books, I am indebted to Mr. Percy W. Lovell and Mr.
Alfred W. Clapham, the latter of whom has provided the heraldic illustrations. As in the case of Part I., our Editor, Mr. Philip Norman, has
placed at the Survey's disposal his own valuable collection of material on
Chelsea and has lent several drawings and photographs for reproduction.
WALTER H. GODFREY.
11, Carteret Street,
Queen Anne's Gate, S.W.