Royal Avenue

A gravelled avenue adjacent to the busy King’s Road Chelsea.
Part of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, this was part of a bold project intended to connect the Royal Hospital with William III’s Kensington Palace in a scheme by Sir Christopher Wren approved in 1681. Unfortunately the project stopped short at King’s Road, and the flanking terraces are not uniform. The Avenue originally had gravel with grass verges, horse chestnut trees and hedging with wooden fencing bordering each side. Walls and gates enclosed each end with ladder stiles, painted white in 1748 and the Avenue previously called Chestnut Walk became known as White Stiles.
The eastern terrace was built in the 1840s at which time the horse chestnuts were probably replaced by lime and plane trees, the grass verges gravelled and the gates and fences replaced by railings. It was known as Royal Avenue from 1875. In 1970 the road access to King’s Road was closed.