Inventory Site Record

Kings Chelsea (Kensington & Chelsea)

Brief Description

Kings Chelsea is a new housing development completed in 2005 by European Land and Northacre plc consisting of 289 apartments and houses within walled communal gardens, landscaped with formal areas and fountains. An area of the gardens between Kings Road and Fulham Road is publicly accessible, with grass, trees and tennis courts. This was once the site of Stanley House and its grounds, which dated from the C17th. It was in private ownership until 1840 when the property was purchased for St Mark's College.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Stanley House; St Marks College; Chelsea College
Site location:
King's Road, Chelsea
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Private Garden
Kensington & Chelsea
Open to public?
Opening times:
partially open
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Tube: Fulham Broadway (District)
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.northacre.com

Full Site Description

The property had come into possession of the Stanley family when Sir Robert Stanley married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Arthur Gorges, who owned part of Sir Thomas More's Chelsea estate. Part of that property was a house called Brickills, which in 1637 was leased together with 5 acres to Lady Elizabeth by her mother Lady Elizabeth Gorges. Lady Stanley later purchased the property and it is shown as Stanley House with 7 acres of land on Hamilton's map (1664?). After Sir Robert's death in 1632 Lady Stanley married her cousin, 4th Earl of Lincoln, and became Countess of Lincoln. She died in 1675 and like Sir Robert and their two infant children, and other members of the family, was buried at Chelsea Old Church (q.v.). The last of the Stanleys to live here died in 1691 and the house was subsequently rebuilt and from 1701 had a number of owners, including Thomas Arundell who appears to have lived here intermittently from c.1728-1751.

It seems that in 1777 the property was sold by the then owner Mary Southwell to the Countess of Strathmore, 'an enthusiastic botanist' (Faulkner, 'Chelsea and its Environs') who 'built extensive conservatories and hot-houses and stored them with a valuable collection of exotics'. Having made an unfortunate marriage, the Countess sold Stanley House in 1780. Later owners included William Hamilton, husband of Lord Nelson's mistress Emma Hamilton, British Envoy at the Court of Naples who, as Secretary to Lord Elgin, oversaw the transport of the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon and installed casts of a number of the marbles in a specially built hall on the east of Stanley House, which remain in place.

In 1840 Hamilton sold house and grounds for £9000 to the National Society for the Education of the Poor in the Principle of the Established Church, who founded a teachers' training school here in 1841. The College of St Mark and St John (later called St Mark's College then Chelsea College) was built in the grounds in Byzantine style in 1842-7 to the designs of Edward Blore; the octagon, built in 1843, was also designed by Blore, probably in collaboration with the first principal of the college, Revd Derwent Coleridge, son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Stanley House became the residence of the Principal of the College. The College later became part of King's College.

Stanley House was renovated in 2002 when the whole site was developed for private housing by Northacre plc and European Land.

Sources consulted:

British History Online: Walter H Godfrey, 'Survey of London volume 4' (1913), pp43-44; 'At Home Inn Chelsea' (athomeinnchelsea.com)

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ260773 (526020,177330)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
private (Northacre plc)
Site management:
C17th; C19th; 2002-05
Listed structures:
LBII*: Stanley House. LBII: College of St Mark and St John, Octagon, Chapel
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Tree Preservation Order:
Not known
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
To be checked
Other LA designation:
(2002 UDP Proposals map marked site as Major Site with Development Opportunity)

Kings Chelsea

Kings Chelsea - Photo: Colin Wing
Date taken: 10/08/23 14:31

Click a photo to enlarge.

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