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Once described as ‘a village of palaces’, for many centuries, Chelsea has been associated with the wealthy due to its quiet backwater nature and riverside qualities. As one of London’s most affluent areas, it acts as a retreat from the busy city, as well as allowing its locals to enjoy Central London life. Royal Avenue is located just off the popular King’s Road with local amenities and attractions on its doorstep. Immediately recognised by its tree lined street and gravelled path, it remains a truly unique part of London with many historical Royal connections. Royal Avenue is indeed one of Chelsea’s most famous addresses.

Origins In the Middle Ages Chelsea was just a small village.

...Henry VIII acquired the Manor of Chelsea in 1536, it became particularly fashionable with the wealthy. By the end of the 1600s it was a flourishing part of London with a population of 3,000.

However, when Henry VIII acquired the Manor of Chelsea in 1536, it became particularly fashionable with the wealthy. By the end of the 1600s it was a flourishing part of London with a population of 3,000. The Royal Avenue was built in 1682 by Christopher Wren, one of Britain’s most distinguished architects, best known for the design of the Royal Hospital and many London churches, including St Paul’s Cathedral. The Avenue was laid out as a direct route to connect the Royal Hospital to Kensington Palace but the full scheme never materialised. When King Charles II, the sponsor of the scheme died in 1685, only the first section as far as the King’s Road was completed. With its original plans at a standstill, the Avenue became known as White Stile Walk from the ladder stiles located at each end.

Royal A is one of L most disti addresses, s the King’s Roa of Chelsea. C banks of the R and various g such as H and Bat Par

In the 19th Century substantial Victorian terraced houses with a hint of English Baroque were built on either side of the street, beginning with the right hand side in 1810. The name Royal Avenue was soon adopted and it swiftly became associated with the upper middle class. Several

Resident Advantage Royal Avenue consists of around 80 households, all of whom automatically become members of the Resident’s Association which

notable people in history have lived here, including the Pre-Raphaelite

holds meetings annually. The association acts as a communication

artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti who rented number 36 for his mistress

vehicle providing residents with the information they need and

Fanny Cornforth. When the Chelsea Drugstore opened on the street corner in 1968, the glass and aluminium frontage, its clientele, and the ‘flying squad’ delivery service in their purple cat suits, appalled the local residents and lead to protest. The store finally closed in 1971 and Royal Avenue regained its prestigious status, which still stands strong today.

Prime Central Location, Tranquil Living Royal Avenue is one of London’s most recognised addresses, situated on the King’s Road in the heart of Chelsea. Close to the banks of the River Thames and various green spaces such as Hyde Park and Battersea Park, it offers residents

gives them the opportunity to voice their opinions on the amenities affecting them. Their achievements so far include imposing a fine for dog owners who do not clean up after their dogs, introducing double yellow lines and speed bumps in the surrounding roads, and ensuring the area remains litter free. They strive to maintain the quiet nature of the street and protect its influential reputation. As freeholders and leaseholders, there are very few restrictions in place for the residents of Royal Avenue as there is no managing agent. The only restriction, set by the council, is the protection of the traditional architecture

luxurious surroundings and beautiful views of the Royal Hospital, with

of these Grade II listed buildings

all the amenities, culture and

which contribute greatly to the

entertainment of the King’s Road

desirability of this residential

on its doorstep.

location. In many cases

The Grade II listed properties,

planning permission is not

a mixture of both houses and apartments provide

granted for extensions

residents with spacious and

as the council intends to

bright living conditions

preserve the harmonious

and although just off one

design of the terraces but

of London’s most popular

residents are able to appeal if

shopping streets, it remains

they disagree.

a peaceful and well kept residential location.

Meet the Neighbours

The two terraces consist of tall

The Royal Avenue neighbours are

Victorian stucco and brick town houses,

somewhat different from the norm. ‘The

with wrought iron balconies, long windows and white gables. All properties are almost identical in layout, built over four floors (some with an extra floor) with a garden at the back, perfect for a family home, or a quiet city retreat. Each property also has a coal bunker which

Avenue in many households has been converted into a wine cellar or basement extension; providing additional space in London’s these already sizeable properties. inguished At first glance, the street’s symmetry and situated on uniformity appears simple and classic, yet the ad in the heart eye is drawn slowly towards the gravelled path and imposing gates of the Royal Hospital. This Close to the path is in fact a public road, maintained by the River Thames council and owned by the hospital, making Royal Avenue the only public space in London of its kind green spaces and a particularly strong long term investment, Hyde Park commanding high prices for both sales and lettings. ttersea rk.

Men in Scarlet,’ the Chelsea Pensioners, with their three centuries of unbroken service are truly the most unique and honourable nearby residents. Residents of Royal Avenue regularly see the Chelsea Pensioners in the neighbourhood or walking in the Hospital’s grounds. Behind the gates of the Royal Hospital lies Burton Court, a large green space giving an unrestricted view of the Wren masterpiece adding to the imposing nature of the site. Burton Court, although part of the Hospital, offers the Chelsea residents an opportunity to buy exclusive passes to access its impressive grounds which include tennis courts, a children’s tennis academy, dog walking and a cricket pitch. The grounds are also home to a Post Office, open to the public, which nearby residents find particularly useful.

The walled Physic Garden, Britain’s second oldest botanical garden is situated on the east side of the Hospital, south of the burial ground. Due to its location in this prominent area, it is considered by many as the perfect venue for special events such as weddings and birthday celebrations, and it is also a popular day out for families with its onsite café and shop. The Hospital’s beautiful views and Royal Patronage has had a striking effect on Chelsea’s development provoking interest amongst the elite. As a result, this area of Chelsea is indeed one of the most respectable and sought after postcodes in London. The surrounding streets are also home to many enviable properties with an equally surprising background. The nearby Wellington Square, with its grand stucco facades and wrought iron balconies, acquired its name from when the Duke of Wellington’s body was brought to the Royal Hospital for his lying-in-state. The Square’s association with the Hospital and the Waterloo hero makes it a highly sought after Chelsea street today, and similarly to Royal Avenue, the properties here prove their weight as solid investments.

Chelsea’s modern reputation as a centre of innovation and influence originated in the 19th century when many Victorian artists flocked to the area. Tite Street was an especially favoured location for many artists and writers due to its vicinity to the Royal Hospital and the banks of the river. Originally created to give access to the Chelsea Embankment, it remains a particularly desirable address with its grand red brick terraces and its position between the King’s Road and the River Thames.

The King’s Road Today The King’s Road was named specifically for Charles II originally serving as a private road from St James’s Palace to Fulham. Reserved for the monarch, a special token was needed to access it until 1830. Today, with its royal history and connections, it remains a particularly prestigious area of London, home to many high-end boutiques, top restaurants and bars as well as some of the country’s most sought after properties.

The Duke of York’s Square is the largest new public space created in London in the last 20 years and is perceived by many as an oasis of calm and elegance with its variety of dining and shopping experiences. Alongside the iconic Saatchi Gallery, is the popular Italian restaurant Manicomo and the contemporary cocktail bar Gallery Mess which are both favourites amongst locals and visitors. The Royal Court Theatre adds a contemporary and artistic feel to the area. In the last decade it has placed an emphasis on international work attracting visitors and artists from around the world. Just over the bridge is Battersea Park which is considered by many to be the capital’s most interesting park with its abundance of trees and wildlife. Although on the opposite side of the river, it is a popular spot for Chelsea locals and is the perfect setting for bird watching, a tennis match, a game of football or walking in its beautiful gardens.

Map Illustration by Rebecca Lea Williams

Contact List



Partridges 020 7730 0651

Cineworld 0871 200 2000

Peter Jones 020 7730 3434

Saatchi Gallery 020 7811 3070

Harvey Nichols 020 7235 5000

Natural History Museum 020 7942 5000

Harrods 020 7730 1234

Science Museum 0870 870 4868


Victoria & Albert Museum 020 7942 2000

2 Lucan Place, Chelsea, SW3 3PB 0300 123 1212

The Royal Court 020 7565 5000

Chelsea Fire Station:

Cadogan Hall 020 7730 4500

Contact your local fire safety centre: 020 8555 1200 ext 54811

Sports & Fitness:

RBKC Planning & Conservation:

Waitrose (King’s Road) 020 7351 2775

The Admiral Codrington 020 7581 0005 The Enterprise 020 7584 3148 The Surprise 020 7351 6954 The Phene 020 7352 9898

Curzon Cinema 0330 500 1331

KX Gym 020 7584 5333

Builders Arms 020 7349 9040

LA Fitness 020 7838 0500


Virgin Active 020 7352 9452

Sussex House School 020 7584 1741 Hill House International Junior School 020 7584 1331

The Chelsea Club 0845 485 7250


Garden House School 020 7730 1652

Chelsea Library 020 7361 3010

Cameron House School 020 7352 4040


Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle 020 7584 6322

Moyses Stevens 020 8772 0094


Brompton Veterinary Clinic 020 7225 2915 Elizabeth Street Veterinary Clinic 020 7730 9102

Police Station:

264 Kings Road, London SW3 5UF

020 7361 3012

Fun Fact!

The infamous Chelsea Drugstore caused such an uproar, it has even been mentioned in songs including the Rolling Stones song ‘You Can’t Always Get ­­­What You Want’: “So I went to the Chelsea Drugstore to get your prescription filled.”

Amanda Austin Flowers 020 7351 3151

Bective Leslie Marsh Established in 1881, Bective Leslie Marsh has an excellent reputation for selling and letting quality property in Central London. The Chelsea office is situated on Cadogan Street, a stone’s throw from Sloane Square. If you are thinking of selling or letting your property, or would simply like some independent advice, please do not hesitate to contact our Chelsea office on 020 7589 6677.

020 7589 6677 1 Cadogan Street London SW3 2PP

Royal Avenue Guide  

Bective Leslie Marsh's guide to one of the capital's most distinguished addresses.

Royal Avenue Guide  

Bective Leslie Marsh's guide to one of the capital's most distinguished addresses.