Cheyne Walk: Nos. 46-48

Pages 82-83

Survey of London: Volume 2, Chelsea, Pt I. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1909.

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XLII., XLIII.—Nos. 46 and 48 CHEYNE WALK.

Ground landlord, leaseholders, etc.

No. 46 is owned and occupied by L. A. Harrison, Esq., and No. 48 by W. J. Disturnal, Esq., B.A., LL.B.

General description and date of structure.

Originally three separate houses, these buildings now contain the two residences Nos. 46 and 48, the former including the original Nos. 46 and 47. The property on which they stand adjoined that of Shrewsbury House on the east, and the fine Tudor wall which forms the boundary has already been mentioned. We quote the following from Mr. Randall Davies (fn. 1) : "The western boundary of Shrewsbury House was 66 feet east of the house at the corner of Cheyne Row, formerly called 'The Feathers' or 'The Prince's Arms'; the intervening space being originally occupied by another tavern called 'The Three Tuns,'belonging to the manor, which was pulled down some time before 1711 (Middx. Registry 1711, March 26, Clarkson to Turton)." No. 49 Cheyne Walk, which has been rebuilt, is on the site of "The Feathers," and Nos. 46 and 48 occupy the frontage of 66 feet mentioned by Mr. Davies as the site of "The Three Tuns," the bowling green of which had been built upon a few years previously to form Cheyne Row. The houses may have been built soon after the date of the lease (1711), but they have been somewhat altered, and No. 48 was evidently remodelled about a century and a half ago. Externally they preserve their early Georgian character, without possessing any striking features, and No. 48 is cemented over the brickwork.

No. 46 has a nice little iron grille in the fanlight over the front door, and an original archway in the hall with beautifully carved Ionic capitals. The western portion has been made into one large room on the ground floor, and has been panelled in keeping with the early 18th century fashion. Above there are two good chimney-pieces, one understood to have come from No. 21 Cheyne Walk, and the other a copy of this. On the second floor there is an old chimney-piece with dentil-cornice in the front room, and at the back is an old hob grate. Several portions of the old cornice mouldings to the rooms are left.

No. 48 is an interesting house, in that it shows something of internal architectural effect, dating from a period when decorative work was in decline. The front room on the ground floor is curved in plan at its north end. This was done to give sufficient space on one side for the stairs, the other side being occupied by a little cupboard. In the recess is an arch which was inserted later as it cuts into the cornice. The back room has been papered over the panelling, but preserves its wood cornice. On the first floor the back room and "powder room" are covered with plain panelling, and there is a small original chimneypiece. On the second floor is an early grate of reeded pattern.

Although there is little left to show conclusively that the houses date from 1711, yet that is probable. There seems to have been some rearrangement in addition to the merely decorative alterations. The houses retain their three "powder room" projections on the garden side, the two towards the west having kept the original wood cornice at the eaves, and old hipped roofs.

Condition of repair.

The houses seem in good repair.

Historical notes.

Although it is easy to identify "The Feathers" Inn in the rate-lists, and there is no difficulty in tracing the residents in Shrewsbury House, yet it is not altogether plain which entries refer to the three houses, Nos. 46, 47 and 48 Cheyne Walk. This is perhaps due to the fact that houses were built in the front of Shrewsbury House at various times, and their occupants may not have all been entered in the same order. The names may be, however, of interest, and with the above reservation we will put them down in the order which seems most probable.

In the position in which we should expect to find No. 46 is the entry "a new house" for 1766–1768. The residents after this date are: 1769–1783, Charles Pinfold; 1790–1798, Abel Vyvyan; 1799, Sarah Vyvyan; and 1800–1802, Richard Wilkinson.

The chief tenants of No. 47 appear to have been: 1713–1718, Madame Bendall; 1718–1722, Miles Arnold; 1723–1728, Forde Rodgers; 1729–1731, Lady Northcliffe; 1736–1760, Mary Errick; 1761–1768, Hon. Mrs. Verney; 1768–1775, Susan Nicholas; 1778–1779, Arabella Warrington; 1778–1779, Elizabeth Ward; 1781–1783, Hannah Wills; 1790–1794, Stephen Artaud; 1799–1802, Joseph Munday.

In No. 48 were: 1714–1723, William Bockett, followed in 1724 by John Tey; from 1730–1734 Mrs. Rose Tey lived here, and her name appears again after a short tenancy by Thomas Tey (1735–1740). She stayed here until 1766, but the assessment of the house falls from £26 to £15. The house was empty in 1766, occupied by John Philips in 1767, and empty again until 1769, when the assessed rateable value rises to £28 with the tenancy of John Hall, who stayed till 1776. Then follow 1777–1781, Anne Calloway; 1782–1783, Dorothy Sydenham; 1790–1796, John Morrison; 1798, George Fielder; 1799, William Brook; 1800–1802, William Coleman.

Bibliographical references.

Randall Davies, Chelsea Old Church (1904).

In the committee's ms. collection are—

Views of front (partly) and back, with those of Shrewsbury House (vide ante Nos. 3282–3284).


  • 1. Chelsea Old Church, by Randall Davies.