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.
Dave Cobb | Jun 5, 2018
I've visited many a National Trust place over the years and always have a great day, but the staff at Carlyle's House are the most engaging and enthused I've met at any property. They love to talk about the history but will happily leave you to explore - and there's a lot to explore with huge amounts of reading material that you can leave or enjoy at your own pace. The garden is lovely to simply sit in - best visited on a sunny day of course - and there is a working outdoor loo that is perhaps best enjoyed as an amusing bit of history. As a side note, Carlyle's wife Jane is surprisingly interesting and the extracts from her diaries well worth a read for slander, scandal, and gossip.
Ben Hart | Mar 30, 2018
We spent about two hours at Carlyle's House and found it fascinating; lots to read (mostly excerpts from Jane Carlyle's superb letters) and very friendly, knowledgeable staff. Particularly recommend if you're a fan of Victorian literature, virtually every notable writer of that period either paid a visit or was friends with Carlyle. Unfortunately due to the horrendous Bank Holiday weather, we didn't explore the nice looking garden but made a visit to the outdoor Crapper. A real hidden gem with an air of calm, highly recommended.
Joe Curran | Apr 18, 2018
If you're interested in Thomas Carlyle then this is for you. It's off the beaten track and not while signpost but keep looking. It's in a great part ot town and although the suroundings have greatly changed it really gives a feel for the environment in which this writer worked and lived.
Mark Bird | Apr 2, 2018
Interesting historic building which is a real trip back in time with much of it remaining as it was when the Carlyle family lives there. The garden is a tranquil location which feels strange being so close to the hustle and bustle of the Kings Road only a short distance away.
D.A. | Mar 17, 2018
This is one of very few National Trust properties in Central London and by far the one in the nicest location. You could easily combine it with a trip to the Saatchi Gallery (outstanding); the National Army (10 min away) or Battersea Park. As soon as you put a foot in this property you could easily transport yourself to the Victorian period with the well-preserved interior, the photographs of the Thomas and Jane Carlyle and all the information spread around the property.
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