London Parks & Gardens Trust

Upper Chelsea and Belgravia

Hans Place

Hans Place

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Directions

Turn left, passing the main entrance gates to the garden, and continue into Sloane Street. Go over the street at the crossing, turn left and walk along for a short way before turning right into Hans Street. Walk along here and into Hans Place. Turn right, and walk around the Place, keeping the garden on your left.

Continue walking round to No. 41.

Continue on to No. 23.

Description

Hans Place was also developed by Henry Holland. Most of the original houses have gone, although Nos 15, 33 and 34 survive. Much of the housing was redeveloped after 1875, when the new Cadogan and Hans Place Estate Company took over the management of the estate. Although the buildings have changed, there is no evidence of alterations to the garden, and it is likely that the layout remains largely unchanged. The original railings were lost, however, taken to be melted down for armaments in WWII.

No. 41 is on the site of an earlier house where the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) and his wife Mary stayed in 1815. Mary (1797-1851), who was only 17, had eloped with her husband at the age of 16, and gave birth to their first child while living here. The baby died twelve days later. The following year, the Shelleys travelled to Switzerland, to stay with Lord Byron, where Mary began work on her Gothic horror novel, Frankenstein.

No. 23 is the site of an earlier house visited by novelist Jane Austen (1775-1817), where her brother Henry lived. Henry helped Jane to get her work published, beginning with Sense and Sensibility in 1811, which was an overnight success. Jane stayed here for almost a year from 1814 to 1815 at the height of her career. Pride and Prejudice had come out to much acclaim the previous year, and Mansfield Park was published while she was here. During her time in London, Jane was summoned to meet the Prince Regent, who was a fan of her books and asked that her next work, Emma, be dedicated to him.