|Wanted. Serious lottery win to buy|
Chelsea Houseboat. Please.
I've had a lifelong love affair with the river Thames. A map of it adorns our hall wall. I read about it and dreamed of it for years before being overjoyed to dip a toe into it. It has never disappointed me and I fully understand how that the Pre-Raphaelites fell in love with it and why they chose to live beside it on Cheyne Walk and later at Kelmscott Manor the Cotswold jewel that William Morris found and at Kelmscott House in Hammersmith. One who was perhaps the most romanced by The Thames was John Atkinson Grimshaw who moved to London in the 1880s and began to paint the river often. For me he captured it better than anyone, even Turner or Whistler.
|John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836–1893)|
Reflections on the Thames: Westminster
In my youth I toyed with the idea of living on a houseboat on The Thames. We lived in a small terraced house in Twickenham, across from the river with only an old ice rink and an alleyway to walk before being right on the river front. We could watch Richmond Bridge from an upstairs window, but plans were afoot to convert the whole sight to a housing estate and block all of our views. We looked at some boats for sale in idyllic spots along The Thames, but never really settled on one. Would our 4 cats take to living on water? Would the Parrots fly off? Did the pipes freeze in winter? And how would we ever afford a mooring on a desirable part of the river? It is amazing to think that back then I was probably far more sensible than I am now.
Instead we moved to a 4 story artisan made Italian style villa in Isleworth, again just 5 minutes from the river Thames. And now I live a very long way from The Thames indeed, but I am quite neat the Kennet Avon. I miss The Thames and the idea of living on it haunts me still. I often wish that I had just done it.
Who could not fall in love with this bohemian abode just by the Cheyne Walk in Chelsea?
And the boat even has it's own story too, besides being in the middle of a Pre-Raphaelite and 60s rock star paradise for history, art and architecture lovers. Not to mention the King's Road being a mere 10 minute walk with stunning views all the way.
The estate agent said:
"A wonderful opportunity to purchase this historic vessel located on the coveted Cheyne Walk Moorings, Chelsea enjoying views towards Albert Bridge and Battersea Bridge.
A bonafide war hero, having seen active service in WWII, 'mtb 219' has been converted into an atmospheric home exuding shabby chic and is comprised of 1013 square of accommodation including 3 bedrooms and a large deck area.
All houseboats at Cheyne Walk have the benefit of a night watchman, full maintenance team and CCTV for added security and are eligible for a Kensington & Chelsea parking permit."
Alas, as you can see from the photographs, it is now under offer. Good thing too, as it was totally out of my budget and though the family cats of old are long gone I doubt very much if Mrs Black and her Kitten would want to live with no garden even if the shops are nearby and it is bigger than our country cottage.
I hope that the lucky buyer appreciates that view and the gentle sounds of the lapping river as much as I would have.
The Public Catalogue Foundation website here