National Trust's Carlyle's House

London, United Kingdom

National Trust's Carlyle's House

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Carlyle's House, in Cheyne Row, Chelsea, central London, was the home of the Scottish essayist, historian and philosopher Thomas Carlyle and his wife Jane Welsh from 1834 until his death. The house was purchased by public subscription and placed in the care of the Carlyle's House Memorial Trust in 1895. They opened the house to the public and maintained it until 1936, when control of the property was assumed by the National Trust, inspired by co-founder Octavia Hill's earlier pledge of support for the house. It became a Grade II listed building in 1954.

In the early months of 1834, Carlyle had decided to move from Craigenputtock, the couple's residence in Dumfriesshire, Scotland, to London. He arrived in London in May, seeking his friend Leigh Hunt, whom he had asked to keep an eye out for a likely property. Carlyle, discovering that Hunt had done nothing of the kind, found a promising house himself, very close to the Hunt residence in Chelsea. The Carlyles moved into 5 Cheyne Row on 10 June 1834; the street address was changed to 24 in 1877. The house became central to Victorian intellectual life, a place of pilgrimage for literati, scientists, clergymen and political figures from all over Europe and North America. Carlyle did most of his writing there from The French Revolution onward.

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