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Chelsea

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“CHELSEA, a petty sessions town, and extensive suburban district of London, comprising the parishes of Upper Chelsea, Lower Chelsea and part of Knightsbridge, being locally in the Kensington division of the hundred of Ossulstone, in the county of Middlesex, 3 miles S.W. of St. Paul's.

It is situated at Chelsea Reach, on the N. bank of the Thames, where the ground rises about 15 feet above the level of the river. It is mentioned in Domesday Survey as Chelched, but emended into Cercehede, and in the Saxon times was written Ceolshythe, where a synod was held in 785. It was in the 16th century the residence of Queen Catherine Parr and the Princess Elizabeth, who occupied the old manor-house, which afterwards successively became the residence of the Duke of Northumberland, Lord Cheyne, and Sir Hans Sloane, who here formed his collection. The market gardens which surrounded this once quiet village are now almost entirely built over. It has many handsome streets and squares, though the greater part of the houses are small, and some of the streets almost exclusively occupied by mechanics engaged in the manufactures of combs, pipes, oil-cloth, soap, or in the breweries. The population of Chelsea in 1851 was 56,538, which, in 1861, had increased to 63,439, with 8,314 inhabited houses. In former times many of the nobility and gentry had residences here, and in the 17th and 18th centuries there were many public houses with gardens, which were much frequented. The most remarkable object in Chelsea, and that from which it derives its chief interest, is the Royal Hospital for invalid soldiers, which, with its grounds, occupies more than 50 acres. The site was originally that of Dean Sutcliffe's Polemical Divinity College, the first stone of which was laid in 1609, and was called in the charter of incorporation, "King James's College at Chelsey." This college was appropriated by the parliament during the civil war of the 17th century, and was subsequently given to the Royal Society by Charles II., but it was afterwards restored to the king for £1,300, in order that the present hospital might be erected. The foundation stone was laid by the king on the 16th February, 1682, at the instance of Sir S. Fox, though tradition says of Nell Gwynne. The architect was Sir Christopher Wren, and the building was completed in 1690 at a cost of about £150,000. The front is 790 feet long, with a Doric centre. There are three courts, two of which are spacious quadrangles. In the centre are the chapel and great dining-hall. Mother Ross, who served as a dragoon under Marlborough; Young, immortalised as Fielding's "Parson Adams," Dr. Burney, and others, lie in the burial-ground. The eccentric Monsey was physician, and P. Francis chaplain to the hospital. The establishment consists of a governor, lieutenant-governor, and other officers.

from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

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Church Directories

Parishes in this Rural Deanery in 1903

Outline map of Parishes in 1903

Anglican churches of Chelsea - list in alphabetic order with numbers corresponding to outline map.

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Description & Travel

Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]

"CHELSEA, a petty sessions town, and extensive suburban district of London, comprising the parishes of Upper Chelsea, Lower Chelsea and part of Knightsbridge, being locally in the Kensington division of the hundred of Ossulstone, in the county of Middlesex, 3 miles S.W. of St. Paul's. " (There is more of this description).

"CREMORNE HOUSE, in the parish of Chelsea, hundred of Ossulstone, in the county of Middlesex, 2 miles S.W. of St. Paul's, London. It is situated on the river Thames, and is now a place of amusement, but once the seat of Viscount Cremorne. [Cremorne Road is on modern maps as the continuation Westwards of Cheyne Walk. ]"

"LITTLE CHELSEA, a hamlet partly in the parish of Chelsea and partly in that of Kensington, hundred of Ossulstone, in the county of Middlesex, half a mile S.W. of Chelsea. It contains St. George's workhouse, formerly the residence of the earls of Shaftesbury; Chelsea Park, the Pavilion, and the "Goat and Boots" inn, the sign of which was originally painted by Moreland.

Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868), transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003; intended for personal use only, so please respect the conditions of use.

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Gazetteers

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Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Chelsea has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

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History

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Maps

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference TQ271777 (Lat/Lon: 51.48398, -0.170942), Chelsea which are provided by: