Short read: Thomas More to the Swinging 60s.
Longer read (in Kevin’s words): Chelsea may be best known as the spiritual home of the ‘Swinging Sixties but it has many other claims to fame, and its pleasures are attested by the unrivalled quality of its architecture, its famous residents and its local history.
It was home to Thomas More, Henry VIII, Turner, Bram Stoker, George Elliot, Rossetti, Whistler, Oscar Wilde, Lawrence Olivier, Mike Jagger, James Bond, George Smiley, Richard Rogers and many many more!
It was known as a Village of Palaces in the 16th and 17th Centuries but it changed profoundly in the 18th Century when the palaces were torn down and the gardens turned into streets of Town Houses. By the 19th Century it had gone ‘downhill’ to become a centre of bohemian London, but enriched by a colony of writers and artists. The recovery from urban decline began in the 1950’s when Chelsea became the centre of a new vibrant youth culture that rescued London from mediocrity. Sadly, fame contains the seeds of its own destruction, and as it became more fashionable it became less affordable so although the creative ‘buzz’ has moved somewhere cheaper, Chelsea remains a beautiful place to stroll around in company with its illustrious natives.
CHELSEA PUB TOUR – THE PRACTICALS
The Chelsea Pub Tour takes place at 7.15 pm on Saturday, September 28. The meeting point is just outside the exit of Sloane Square Tube. It’s guided by the former Museum of London Archaeologist Kevin Flude.