Carlyle’s House is the home of Thomas and Jane Carlyle, preserved largely as it was when they lived there from 1834 by the National Trust. I didn’t know anything about the Carlyle’s prior to my visit, but learned that Thomas Carlyle was a writer and historian and that he and his wife Jane entertained the best and brightest of the Victorian literary world in their Chelsea home, including Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Photography wasn’t permitted inside the house so I only have a few shots of the exterior. It’s always a shame when that’s the case but you can see some photos on the official website.
I had a very friendly welcome to the house – which you are admitted to after pulling the old fashioned door pull, always a nice touch, and found the information sheets in each room to give a good overview of the Carlyles and their house.
Some of the highlights included the attic room which Carlyle wanted to have soundproofed so that he could work only for that to prove fairly ineffectual. You can also see the original fittings in the kitchen and read stories about Jane Carlyle’s problems with servants as well as one maid who managed to give birth in a room in the house and successfully get the baby out, undetected by the Carlyles.
After your visit to the house make sure to walk further down the road towards Chelsea Embankment where you can see the above statue of Thomas Carlyle as he was in his later years.
A lovely little snapshot of Victorian literary London, the house isn’t open all year round so be sure to check the National Trust’s website before a visit. A few more photos can be found here.