LXI.—BELLE VUE LODGE (or COTTAGE),
No. 91, CHEYNE WALK.
Ground landlord and leaseholder.
The property belongs to Earl Cadogan, the present tenant being
M. H. Sands, Esq.
General description and date of structure.
This house is called Belle Vue Lodge on Thompson's map of 1836,
and in the list of subscribers to Faulkner's History of Chelsea (2nd Edition), it
is so given as the address of Luke Thomas Flood, Esq. On the other hand,
Faulkner himself, in the text of his work, refers to it as Belle Vue Cottage.
From the appearance of the brickwork the house would seem to be of earlier
date than its neighbour Belle Vue House, which was built in 1771. This
may, however, be due to the use of the smoother facing bricks, and red brick
quoins and arch heads, which were characteristic of the first half of the
The principal front faces east, upon Beaufort Street, and is remarkable for the central windows on each of the three storeys. That on the
ground floor is of three lights, separated by pilasters; the side lights, which
are smaller than the centre one, being square-headed and surmounted by
an entablature that rests on the pilasters and half pilasters against the
sides of the opening. The centre light is spanned by a semi-circular
moulded arch with key-block, and the whole window is also arched, the
broad space between the two arches being filled with plaster, enriched
with foliage springing from two vases, modelled in relief. (fn. 1) On the first
floor is a larger window of similar design, the pilasters being here replaced
by columns and the plaster filling being plain. On the second floor the
entire window is semi-circular, divided vertically into one large and two
small side lights.
There may originally have been a window on all floors, each side
of these central windows. The southern ones are now all blocked,
that on the second floor by a plaster panel, and those on the first and
ground floors by brickwork. The northern one of the second floor is still
glazed, but those on the first and ground floors have been replaced by
doors leading into a large two-storeyed porch of wood and glass. This
porch, which is treated with columns, overhangs on the first floor and is
surmounted by a pediment. An early 18th-century wing has been added
to the north.
The south front is pierced by three plain sash windows on each
floor, but those on the first floor are now concealed behind a large roofed
balcony, with seven openings glazed in the manner sometimes called
Chippendale Gothic. The angles are canted and each division is separated
by fluted columns, those at the angles being coupled. This balcony and
the porch make the house a valuable example of a type associated with the
end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. There is an attic
storey in the roof furnished with dormer windows.
The interior contains some good late 18th-century panelling and
chimney pieces. There is a curious segmental arch on the first floor, supported on columns and engaged pilasters, with capitals of acanthus foliage,
which are reminiscent of the work of the brothers Adam.
Condition of repair.
The house is in excellent condition.
From the rate-books we find that the following people have lived at Belle Vue
|1777.||Mrs. Ann Borland.|
With reference to the first named we may note that Faulkner gives among
"gentry formerly resident" in Chelsea:—Thomas Parlebeine, Esq., under date 1775.
When the second edition of his history of Chelsea was published (1829) the house was
occupied by Luke Thomas Flood, who was a great benefactor to the parish. He was
evidently a friend of the historian, for he addressed some lines to him, which conclude
with the halting line "Sweet Chelsea shall ever live in thee." Flood Street was named
after him, and his benefactions are celebrated at the parish church by a service on
January 13th,—"Flood's Day." He left £3,000 to the parish when he died in 1860.
Beaver (fn. 2) says that J. T. Crossley, Q.C., was a later tenant. The house was formerly
occupied as a "Naval and Military College, Classical and Mathematical School," as
appears from a lithograph of it, by W. L. Walton, in the Chelsea Public Library.
It was latterly the home of Charles Conder, the artist, who lived here from 1901
until his death in 1909. <According to Reginald Blunt, Conder did not reside at No. 91 Cheyne Walk until 1903 or 1904. The house was taken by the Rev. A. Gerald W. Blunt on his resigning the Rectory and occupied by his daughters, after his death, for about a year.>
In the Council's ms. collection are:—
(fn. 3) View from S.E. (photograph).
View of south front (photograph).
Another view from S.E. (photograph).
East front (photograph).
Garden (north) front (photograph).
(fn. 3) Window on ground floor (photograph).
Another view of the same (photograph).
(fn. 3) Interior, showing arch (photograph).
(fn. 3) Plan of ground floor (measured drawing).