Chelsea is an affluent area in west London, England, due south-west of Charing Cross. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames and for postal purposes is part of the south-western postal area.
The best-known building is Chelsea Royal Hospital for old soldiers opened in 1694. The beautifully proportioned building stands in extensive grounds, where the Chelsea Flower show is held annually. The former Duke of York’s Barracks off King’s Road is now part of Duke of York Square, a redevelopment including shops and cafes and the site of a weekly “farmers’ market”. The Saatchi Gallery opened in the main building in 2008.
A central part of Chelsea’s artistic and cultural life was Chelsea Public Library, In 1980, the building was purchased by Chelsea College of Art and Design. At the end of the 20th century, the Collection totaled more than 5,000 works.
The parish and borough of Chelsea, which now forms the southern part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, was bounded by rivers on three sides with Fulham Road forming part of its northern boundary with Kensington.
The eastern boundary with Westminster was formed by the River Westbourne..
The short western boundary with Fulham was formed by the former Counter’s Creek, of which the mouth – Chelsea Creek – is the only surviving part.
Chelsea Football Club’s Stamford Bridge home, lies just west of the Counter’s Creek in Fulham.
The southern Thames frontage runs west from Chelsea Bridge along the Chelsea Embankment past Albert Bridge and Battersea Bridge to Chelsea Creek. Lots Road is a major landmark on the Chelsea side of the confluence of Chelsea Creek and the Thames.
King’s Road is one of the district’s major thoroughfares, and home to many British High Street Stores.
Sloane Street and its environs is quickly catching up with Bond Street as one of London’s premier shopping destinations, housing a variety of high-end fashion or jewellery boutiques .
As well as a number of garden squares, Chelsea has several open spaces including Albert Bridge Gardens, Battersea Bridge Gardens, Chelsea Embankment Gardens, the Royal Hospital Chelsea and Chelsea Physic Garden.
The Chelsea property market attracts considerable (international) attention, and is a very complex market as it consists mainly of short leases under Earl Cadogan as freeholder. Much of Chelsea is now viewed as a “Global Ultra Prime Residential Area”.
Much of Chelsea and neighbouring Knightsbridge is still owned by Earl Cadogan, through the Cadogan Estates. Most of the property owned is in and around Cadogan Square. This has a major influence on the markets as the Earl is the freeholder and generally has no desire to sell.
Lord Cadogan is generally regarded as an effective and successful property developer/landlord.The Cadogan Estate has a considerable portfolio of retail property throughout Chelsea but notably on Fulham Road, King’s Road, and Sloane Street. The Estate maintains many of the garden squares, (to which local residents can gain access by subscribing for an annual fee).
Chelsea Football Club is located at Stamford Bridge in neighbouring Fulham, adjacent to the border with Chelsea. As a result of Chelsea’s expensive location and wealthy residents, Chelsea F.C. has the wealthiest local supporters in England.
Chelsea is served by many Transport for London bus services.
Chelsea doesn’t have an Underground station, but there are two stations close to its boundary; Sloane Square to the east and Gloucester Road to the North. In addition, to the west is the London Overground station Imperial Wharf.
There is a proposal to construct a Chelsea Underground station on the King’s Road as part of the Crossrail 2 project.