A Property Investment Guide by a Singaporean living in London
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What is the first thing that comes to mind when Londoners think of Chelsea? Most Londoners tend to associate Chelsea with the rich and famous, and later as an afterthought as the home of the Chelsea Football Club. But really learning about Chelsea means not only understanding its present, but discovering the past, particularly parts of its history that can still be found intact today.

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I recently had the chance to go on a walking tour of the area with a local British historian and was given a fascinating insight on the borough of Chelsea. While Chelsea today is indeed often the top choice of the world’s rich and famous, it is especially unique because of its vibrant past, dating back to in the 18th century where its residents included the renowned Dante Gabriel Rossetti , an English writer and poet and an influential founder of the evolvement of British art, the Impressionist painter J M W Turner, and more recently, Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond series of spy novels.

 

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Chelsea is also home of the original site of King Henry VIII’s Manor House, where the the old manor house garden still remains. The mulberry trees in this garden were first planted by Queen Elizabeth I.
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The red post box, a well-known British icon, is found all over London, and each post box carries the insignia of the reigning monarch at the time, and also contains a symbol of the crown that they wore during their coronation. While the newer post boxes around London bear the letters ‘E II R’, for Queen Elizabeth the Second, one of the very rare ones from the reign of Queen Victoria, the longest reigning monarch in British history, can be found in Chelsea.

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The Chelsea Psychic Garden was once the most extensive botanic garden in the world. It provided the first cotton seeds to be planted in the state of Georgia, a former American colony, eventually leading to the expansion of the slave trade and the cotton plantation industry in the Southern states of America.

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The Albert Bridge, named after Prince Albert, was built in 1873 to connect Chelsea in the North Bank to Battersea on the South. Other than Tower Bridge, it is the only Thames River bridge in London which has never been replaced throughout its existence.

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A few of the houses on Cheyne Walk stand out for their distinctive architectural style. These were the homes of the tradesmen and merchants who made their fortune through trade and business, rather than through inheritance, and subsequently built their homes in a different style to show their pride in their own achievements, in a time where merchants were looked down upon for working instead of inheriting their wealth.

Think that a property in Chelsea might be just what you have been looking for? Prices in the area currently range from £1.5mil onward for a 2 BR flat to around £2.75 mil for a 3 BR flat. An added bonus: your new neighbors could include Mike Jagger, Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams, who are known to all own homes in Chelsea.

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