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Carlyle's House, London

4.4
#57 of 142 in Historic Sites in London
Historic Site Tourist Spot
Carlyle's House, in the district of Chelsea, in central London, England, was the home acquired by the historian and philosopher Thomas Carlyle and his wife Jane Welsh Carlyle, after having lived at Craigenputtock in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. She was a prominent woman of letters, for nearly half a century. The building dates from 1708 and is at No. 24 Cheyne Row (No. 5 at Carlyle's time); the house is now owned by the National Trust.The house is a typical Georgian terraced house, a modestly comfortable home where the Carlyles lived with one servant and Jane's dog, Nero. The house was opened to the public in 1895, just fourteen years after Carlyle's death. It is preserved very much as it was when the Carlyles lived there despite another resident moving in after them with her scores of cats and dogs. It is a good example of a middle class Victorian home due to the efforts of devotees tracking down much of the original furniture owned by the Carlyles. It contains some of the Carlyles' books (many on permanent loan from the London Library, which was established by Carlyle), pictures and personal possessions, together with collections of portraits by artist such as James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Helen Allingham and memorabilia assembled by their admirers.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
73 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Wonderfully welcoming staff to give you a personal story about the inhabitants. My children (7 and 10) were equally captivated by the stories in the house. You get a real feel for life as it was like ...  more »
  • There are two good reasons to visit this House, First is the Carlyle family, if you have an interest in them their story is very well told and of course in there very own home, If your interest is his...  more »
  • We stopped in here, initially to kill a bit of time on our was to the Chelsea Flower show. I knew little about the writer and his wife but I left knowing so much more. On arrival we were given a brief...  more »
Google
  • Extremely well informed and enthusiastic staff. I love how you have to ring the door bell to get in. It's like actually entering someone's private house. Nice selection of quotes. I spent an hour in the house, but didn't do all the reading. Would recommend, especially if you're a member.
  • A brilliant little gem of a place, you could be walking into the 19th century. Friendly staff and a garden. Well worth a visit.
  • Tucked away among Chelsea's narrow residential streets, the house takes you back to the mid-19C when Thomas Carlyle lived there. Most of the exhibits​ relate to his literary output and circle of friends.
  • A very well presented and original property. Not quite perfect as the information is presented in quite dry manner and could do with updating. Staff are friendly and knowledgeable.
  • Fascinating stories of Victorian personalities

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Many of London's main attractions are spread out, so nearby public transportation is key. There is no downtown area as such in London, and some of the least expensive hotels have more convenient access to tourist sites than the costlier ones. For a quintessential London experience, consider staying in the West End. This part of town offers excellent theaters, historical sites, and eating and shopping options for every taste. Lodging won’t be cheap, but you’ll have the colorful variety of London life right at your doorstep. Look at Notting Hill or Chelsea for charming and less expensive boutique hotels and B&Bs.
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