The Cottage, No. 1, Upper Cheyne Row

Survey of London: Volume 4, Chelsea, Pt II. Originally published by London County Council, London, 1913.

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'The Cottage, No. 1, Upper Cheyne Row', in Survey of London: Volume 4, Chelsea, Pt II, (London, 1913) pp. 69-70. British History Online [accessed 23 April 2024]

In this section


Ground landlord, leaseholder, etc.

The property is part of the glebe, the present tenant being L. F. Harold, Esq.

General description and date of structure.

This early Georgian house, which is now hidden behind the modern houses on the south side of the street, is part of a larger building shown in Thompson's map. Although its northern part has been pulled down, it appears to be complete, the destroyed portion having possibly been a coach house and stable. Occupants of the house seem to appear in the rate-books since the year 1715.

It is at present two storeys in height, with an attic within a mansard roof, and stands on a semi-circular brick vault, running the length of the building which is only one room in depth. The brickwork of the vault may be older than the house. All the windows are at present on the east elevation, which has five on the first floor, with sunk brick panels above, and three dormer windows in the roof. On the ground floor the front door with a hood on carved console brackets takes the place of the second window from the south, and the northernmost opening is occupied by the kitchen door.

The plan is divided on the ground and first-floor into four compartments, of which the staircase, a good Georgian example, occupies the second from the south. The southern rooms on both floors are panelled throughout, the upper room having a good chimney-piece, and a blocked window in its south wall, while the lower room is now used as a studio and is temporarily disconnected from the house. To the right (the north) of the stair, there is the kitchen (now the dining-room) and leading from it a scullery. On the first-floor over these are two bedrooms, the larger being panelled and having a fine early cornice. The doors and the first-floor landing have panelled overdoors with cornice.

The garden in front of the house has been reclaimed and laid out by the present tenant. In the centre is an iron tripod with lead bowl, one of the beacons which were fixed on London Bridge to celebrate the wedding of King Edward VII. when Prince of Wales.

Condition of repair.

The house is in good condition

Historical notes.

When Cheyne Row was being built, its boundary northwards was fixed by a new way, 22 feet in width, which ran eastwards as far as the end wall of the new houses, that is, to the boundary between the land belonging to the manor and the glebe. To the north of this way, which has now become Upper Cheyne Row, was a strip of land belonging to the manor, 40 feet in depth, and here it was proposed by Lord Cheyne to build a coach-house and stables. The position of this land, its dimensions, etc., are clearly marked on a plan affixed to a lease, in the possession of Mr. Philip Norman, of part of the Cheyne Row property in 1709; and its destination is as clearly stated in a lease of the northernmost plot of Cheyne Row to Sir John Munden in 1711 (quoted by Mr. Davies), (fn. 1) where it is described as abutting on the north on ground "intended to be laid out in a 22-ft. way to and from the coach house stables, etc., intended to be built on the north side of the said way." The road is marked on Mr. Norman's plan as "stable-yard."

Apparently the stables were not built, for an arrangement seems to have been made by which part of the glebe north of this strip of land was available for building and sufficient room was obtained for erecting the houses in Upper Cheyne Row. From a lease dated 1716 (Middlesex Land Registry, 1724, L. 6, No. 190) we find that six acres of glebe land east of the houses in Cheyne Row, and lying between the King's Road on the north and the property of Shrewsbury House on the south, were in the occupation of Francis Cook, who had already built some part of Cheyne Row itself. He owned what came to be known as Cook's Ground (now Glebe Place), which included the eastern end of Upper Cheyne Row, and he seems to have started building, even before this lease of 1716, which gave him a tenure of three lives.

The Cottage, No. I, Upper Cheyne Row, was probably one of the first buildings erected by Cook. As mentioned above, it is part only of a longer block shown on Thompson's map, lying at right angles to the road, which consisted perhaps of this cottage and stabling, for the building is only one room in depth. At this end of the Row the rate-books give us a small house rated at £18, against which the following names appear:

1715. —Lloyd.
1716–1720. —Mackey.
1721–1725. Francis Cook.
1732–1741. John Temple.
1748–1756. John Coggs.

In the Council's ms. collection is:—

(fn. 2) Photograph of east front.


  • 1. Chelsea Old Church, p. 269.
  • 2. Reproduced here.