Chelsea

A village near London, famous for the military hospital. To get Chelsea; to obtain the benefit of that hospital. Dead Chelsea, by G-d! an exclamation uttered by a grenadier at Fontenoy, on having his leg carried away by a cannon-ball.

Star and Garter, Putney

Chelsea to Chiswick .—Battersea Park, elsewhere described, is just opposite Chelsea.  Beyond the park are Battersea  and Wandsworth, places containing very few objects of interest; and backed by Clapham  and Wimbledon, where many London merchants and tradesmen have their private residences.  Beyond Wandsworth lie PutneyBarnes, and Mortlake, where the river makes a great bend towards Kew.  Between Putney and Kew many Regattas, or boat-races, take place during the summer; especially the famous annual contest, from Putney to Mortlake, between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge: these are among the most pleasant of the up-river scenes.  Omnibuses, steamboats, and the South-Western Railway, give abundant accommodation to the places here named.  On the Middlesex side of the river, just beyond Chelsea, are Cremorne Gardens.  Next, we get into a region of Market-Gardens, from which London is supplied with vast quantities of fruit and vegetables.  Walham GreenParson's Green, and Fulham, lie in the immediate vicinity of these gardens.  Strangers would find an hour or two pleasantly spent hereabouts.  The bishops of London have their palace at Fulham, a picturesque old structure.  After passing Hammersmith, where there is a pretty suspension bridge, we come to Chiswick, noted for its market-gardens; here is the house in which Hogarth died; and in the churchyard is his tomb, with an inscription by David Garrick.  The Duke of Sutherland has a fine mansion at Chiswick; and near at hand are the old gardens of the Horticultural Society.

Chelsea Hospital

Chelsea .—Chelsea, once a village, is now a part of the metropolis, Pimlico and Belgravia having supplied the intervening link.  During the last century a pleasant ramble across the fields was much in favour to the Chelsea bunhouse ; but no one thinks of Chelsea now, except as part of London.  Sloane Square and Street, and Hans Place, were named after Sir Hans Sloane, who lived in that neighbourhood.  The chief place of interest at Chelsea is the Hospital  for retired invalid soldiers, an institution similar to the asylum for old seamen at Greenwich.  The hospital, which is situated on a flat stretch of ground bordering the Thames, and was planned by Sir Christopher Wren, consists chiefly of one large edifice of red brick, several stories in height, forming a centre and two wings, or three sides of a square, with the open side towards the bank of the Thames.  On the north, in which is the main entrance, the style of architecture is simple, being ornamented with only a plain portico.  The inner part of the centre building is more decorated, there being here a piazza of good proportions, forming a sheltered walk for the veteran inmates.  In the centre of the open square stands a statue, by Grinling Gibbons, of Charles II., in whose time the hospital took its rise.  The only parts of the structure considered worthy to be shewn to strangers are the chapel and old dining-hall, both in the central building.  The chapel is neat and plain in appearance; the rows of benches being furnished with prayer-books and hassocks, and the floor being paved with chequered marble.  Above the communion-table is a painting of the Ascension, by Sebastian Ricci.  The dining-hall is equally spacious, but is now disused as a refectory.  In the hall and chapel are about 100 flags, taken by British troops in various battles.  The usual number of in-pensioners is about 500, and of out-pensioners not fewer than 60,000 to 70,000, who reside in all parts of the United Kingdom.  The former are provided with all necessaries, while the latter have each pensions varying according to their grade.  The inmates wear an antique garb of red cloth, in which they may be seen loitering about the neighbourhood.

Near Sloane Square is situated a large building forming the Royal Military Asylum, familiarly called the Duke of York's School, for the support and education of about 500 poor children, whose fathers were non-commissioned officers and privates in the army.  Each regiment of the British army contributes annually one day's pay, to aid in supporting the institution.  Between Sloane Square and Chelsea Bridge is the fine new Barracks for the Foot Guards: the only handsome barrack structure in the metropolis.