Royal Hospital row, Chelsea and pub history

I get lost a lot when looking for old pubs, and even more so when in the West of London. These magical names started to appear for the Chelsea area when searching the pubs of the early 1800s, like Royal Hospital row, Jews row, Turks row, Five fields etc.

Even if you told me their modern address I would struggle with their situation. And without detailed plans of an area over 200 years ago, old addresses seem to disappear from view very quickly as we match old with the new.

Here is a mapping of this small part of Chelsea in 1799.

Royal Hospital row, Chelsea and by the burying ground, leading into Grosvenor row
Royal Hospital row, Chelsea and by the burying ground, leading into Grosvenor row

The purpose of this post is to remind myself of the pubs I have found in Royal Hospital row, in about 1810. They are all listed in my pubs of Chelsea, with their modern addresses of Brompton road, or Queens road East, or wherever they may now be listed, if at all.

So, we have the General Howard, Royal Hospital row until at least 1826. (sometimes listed as Jews row)

The Recruiting Serjeant, Royal Hospital row – noted between 1805 and 1811, and the

Royal Hospital Inn, 23 Royal Hospital row, Chelsea, from at least 1790 until about 1901; with a more modern address of 148 Pimlico road.

And we also have :

Eight Bells, Royal Hospital row, Chelsea – not currently listed, but existed in 1811 at least. Maybe it is the Kings Head & Eight Bells, 50 Cheyne Walk

Mermaid, Royal Hospital row, Chelsea – not currently listed, but existed in 1803 at least. In searching newspapers, a Mermaid yard in Jews row gets a mention incorporating lodging houses in 1834. Jews row appears to be the natural name, and preferred name, for Royal Hospital row.

General Elliott, Royal Hospital row, Chelsea existed from at least 1799, also listed as in Jews row, and latterly in Queens road East until at least 1865.

Duke of York, 9 Royal Hospital Row from at least 1805, and latterly known as at 120 Pimlico road.

Three Crowns, Royal Hospital Row, from at least 1805 and latterly at 4 Queens road east., until at least 1861.

Snow Shoes, 21 Royal Hospital Row Chelsea becomes 21 Queens Road east, from 1788 until at least 1895

That is probably all, but a lot of pubs for a few buildings.

Actually, on a closer look, we are missing the following:

The Coach and Horses which exists at 95 Lower Sloane street as a modern address, and at the corner of Lower Sloane street and Jews row (later Pimlico road)

A General Wolfe is mentioned, and also a Cheshire Cheese, both in Jews row.

Also, listed as part of St George Hanover square listing, which appears to be incorrect is the :

Nell Gwynne, of 1 Grosvenor row, Pimlico, and latterly through street renaming eventually becomes the Nell Gwynne, at 105 Pimlico road. What is interesting is that in 1824, a newspaper, the Morning Advertiser describes this as the Nell Gwynne, Jews row, Chelsea.

A final thought in 1896:

Buckingham Advertiser and Free Press 04 July 1896
The old inns of the metropolis are being gradually wiped out of existence. The city and suburbs suffer alike in this respect, modern improvements and the needs of present day life putting but little value on historic association or picturesqueness.
Now the old Royal Hospital at Chelsea is to be demolished.
This hostelry was the scene of Sir David Wilkies well known picture, “The News of the Battle of Waterloo,” with the pensioners carousing on the benches which then stood outside the inn.
The house is at the south west corner of the condemned block of buildings bounded on the north by Turks row and on the south by Jews row.
Chelsea is fast losing its old time appearance, and where picturesque but dingy and dirty purlieus once stood modern mansions and open thoroughfares are fast taking place.