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7 bedroom town house for sale

Chelsea Embankment, London, SW3

Guide Price £17,950,000

Property Description

Key features

  • 7 Reception Rooms
  • 7 Bedrooms
  • 7 Bathrooms
  • Patio, Terrace & Lift
  • 2/3 Car Garage (12.5 yr Lease)

Full description

Tenure: Freehold


Chelsea Embankment runs in an easterly westerly direction linking Chelsea Bridge Road to the east with Cheyne Walk to the west. The property is situated on the south west side of Chelsea Physic Garden facing south with exceptional views over the River Thames and the Physic Garden. It is generally considered to be one of the best locations in Chelsea, convenient for the widest possible range of amenities and recreational facilities in prime central London.


Garden Corner, is a Grade II* Listed Victorian house which dates back to1879. The house was constructed in deep red brick in the Dutch Renaissance style to designs by Edward I'Anson junior. The house is approached by a number of steps leading to a raised ground floor. The name of the house is picked out in gold lettering on the panelled door which dates from the redesigning of 1906-07. It is arranged over seven floors (served by a lift) and includes a patio area and a roof terrace. The property has double hung sash windows with secondary glazing and brick detailing. A pitched roof with dormer windows and extended chimneys complete the faƧade of this beautiful Chelsea house. The property boasts a number of key features but most notably an expansive double drawing room which is located on the first floor enjoying direct views over the river and an extensive and truly remarkable master bedroom suite. The house is enriched with both character and history and is most notably the work of Charles Francis Annesley Voysey. This interior is widely regarded as one of Voysey's finest, both in terms of the quality of its fixtures and fittings and the ingenuity of its plan.

Historical Background

The Chelsea Embankment was constructed by the Metropolitan Board of Works. It was designed by Sir Joseph Bazalgette and opened by the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh in May 1874. In 1877 the Metopolitan Board of Works released some of the surplus land not required for the construction. This was immediately snapped up by the well-to-do and those with artistic leanings. The result was eighteen splendid, individualistic red-brick town houses. The Society of Apothecaries' Physic Garden (the second oldest Physic garden in the country) divided the row with numbers 13-18, built on the western side. The Physic Garden has given its name to Garden Corner.

Between 1906 and 1907 the interior of Garden Corner was completely transformed in the Arts and Crafts style by the English architect and furniture designer Charles Francis Annesley Voysey (1857-1941). Voysey designed every detail of his houses, including the furniture. He was described by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as one of the pioneers of modern architecture. In fact, Voysey intensely disliked modern architecture and was irritated by this description. He favoured simplicity in decoration and his furniture designs were functional. The Victoria and Albert Museum holds an extensive collection of his work.

Voysey had a completely free hand and, apparently, a large budget. He added excellent fixtures such as the staircase, and bedroom furniture. The library features a beamed ceiling and the drawing room a uniquely designed barrel ceiling. The finer details are also hugely charismatic to the house, bird and heart motifs are positioned strategically throughout and the original fireplaces and panelling are still in place and beautifully presented. The house is a finely crafted piece of Voysey's legacy.

When listing the building Grade II*, English Heritage stated that "the interior is widely regarded as one of Voysey's finest, both in terms of the quality of its fixtures and fittings and the ingenuity of its plan."From the ground to the first floor the plan was organised around three principal rooms. To the rear - or north - of the west room he installed a full-height principal staircase with a top-lit well. There was a lift to the east of the full height stair-bay. A rear wing, rectangular in plan, with a canted corner to the north-east, rose from the basement to the first floor, the top forming a roof garden accessible from the second (principle bedroom) floor. On the third (or nursery) floor the architecture was very much more simple, though the plan was still Voysey's.

Previous Occupants and Owners

We cannot be sure for whom the house was built but it was probably Thomas H Lewin (b.1840) who in the spring of 1881 was residing at Corner House, with his wife Margaret. Lewin gave his status as a retired Lieutenant-Colonel in the army.

Before 1886 Garden Corner had become the home of the railway administrator and art connoisseur, James Staats Forbes (1823-1904). The eldest of six children, James began his professional career as a draughtsman in the office of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who was then constructing the Great Western Railway. Forbes joined the Great Western as a booking clerk and rose quickly through the ranks. In 1861 he accepted a post with the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, which at the time was at the hands of receivers. Forbes skilful and daring leadership completely restored its fortunes and from 1873 to 1899 he was chairman of the board of directors. From 1870 to 1901 he was also a director of the London District Railway.

Between 1906-1907 the interior of Garden Corner was completely transformed in the Arts and Crafts style by the English architect and furniture designer Charles Francis Annesley Voysey. Voysey's client on Garden Corner was Emslie John Horniman whose wealth derived from having inherited the Horniman Tea Company, founded in 1826 by his Grandfather, the Quaker, John Horniman. By 1891 it was the largest tea trading company in the world. In 1918 Horniman sold it to J.Lyons & Co. Emslie Horniman lived at Garden Corner until his death in July 1932.


Reception Hall, Double Drawing Room, Dining Room, Sitting Room, Library, Study, Master Bedroom with Ensuite Bathroom and 2 Dressing Rooms, 6 Further Bedrooms and Ensuite Bathrooms/ Shower Rooms, Cinema Room, Staff Room and Shower Room, Kitchen, Butler's Pantry, Kitchen Pantry, Laundry, Utility, Plant Room, Attic Storage Space, Roof Terrace, Patio Garden, Lift, 2/3 Car Garage.


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Listing History

Added on Rightmove:
22 May 2012


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