At onefinestay we’re fascinated by the stories our members tell us about the streets they live on. So much has vanished from plain sight, so it is the memories, anecdotes and records that keep London’s rich history breathing. In a series of blogs we’ve decided to do our part in bringing London’s streets to life.
Glebe Place [image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/maggiejones]
Turn south about half way down King’s Road and find yourself at the top of Glebe Place, one of London’s cultural treasures. Nicknamed the ’village of palaces’, Chelsea developed as a rural retreat for the wealthy, with only 3000 inhabitants in 1694. By the late 19th century it had acquired a reputation as London’s bohemian quarter, attracting writers, poets, artists and radicals.
Artist studios at 50 Glebe Place [image credit: collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk]
Glebe Place began to bloom around 1880 when a cluster of artists set up studios on the street. Opposite the grand townhouse terrace, the unique spaces had triple height ceilings and brilliant natural light. Spot the blue commemorative plaques at 55 Glebe Place, which went on the market in 2009 for £17m. The property was the studio of Augustus John, Sir William Rothenstein, Winifred Nicholson and Baron de Meyer, and Alfred Munnings worked a few doors away. You can stay opposite the studios, in one of our member’s homes, the magnificent five bedroomed Glebe Place.
Throughout the ‘swinging London’ period Glebe Place was the convivial home of Martin Summers. The vast rooms lent themselves to music performances (Rod Stewart, George Harrison, Mick Jagger all played there), and a more outrageous occurrence saw Jack Nicholson (in London filming The Shining) fall through a window when attending a soiree. Production was paused for three weeks while he recuperated.
Star of Wilthnail & I – the knocker at 35 Glebe Place [image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cowfish/]
Tucked away around the bend of the road is another home made famous by cinema. The knocker on 35 Glebe Place was rapped by Richard E. Grant when filming Withnail & I, the interior used as the set of Uncle Monty’s home.
Uncle Monty’s house [image credit: telegraph.co.uk]
While most of the furnishings were auctioned to fanatics last year, the home itself is also worth seeing as an example of Queen Anne Revival architecture, designed in 1868 by leading Arts & Crafts architect Philip Webb.
Folly at 50 Glebe Place [image credit: brianmicklethwait.com]
At the foot of the street is the most striking façade on the street, and ivy clad folly built for advertising guru Sir Frank Lowe. Intricately adorned with statues, metalwork and carved chimneys, the house is ostensibly much older than it actually is. It is not without its own creative aura, though, according to our internet fishing. One anecdote: it was a photographic studio in the 50s and 60s called ‘Studio Vanessa’, sometime workspace for fashion photographer Norman Parkinson.
Statue outside 50 Glebe Place [image credit: www.flickr.com/photos/albedo/]Google+