The historic estate shaping a 21st-century Chelsea
The Cadogan Estate spans 93 acres of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and has been under the same family ownership for almost 300 years.
The foundations of the estate were established in 1717 when Charles, 2nd Baron Cadogan married Elizabeth Sloane, daughter of Sir Hans Sloane, who had purchased the Manor of Chelsea in 1712; the family’s stewardship of the area continues in the hands of the present Viscount Chelsea. Today, the estate includes approximately 3,000 flats, 200 houses, 300 shops, 500,000 square foot of office space – and over a dozen gardens covering 15 acres.
One of London’s best loved neighbourhoods, Chelsea enjoys a reputation as one of the best places to live, work and shop in the world. It has a rich cultural heritage and has long been a haven for artists, authors, musicians and designers, from Dante Gabriel Rossetti to The Rolling Stones and Vivienne Westwood.
Jane Austen stayed in Sloane Street with her brother Henry while correcting proofs in 1811. Turner and Whistler settled here to paint the picturesque riverside (the latter also founded the raffish Chelsea Arts Club), while writers who called the borough home include writer and poet Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker, creator of Dracula. It continues today as a hive of world-class artistic endeavor, home to major institutions of contemporary theatre, art and music; the ground-breaking Royal Court Theatre, provocative Saatchi Gallery and celebrated Cadogan Hall. It is still home for statesmen and writers, artists, physicians and businessmen; creativity flourishes and fashionable London comes to see and be seen.
In fact, thanks in large part to Cadogan’s long-term interest, the area has developed into a vibrant neighbourhood renowned for a unique mix of dazzling international flagship designer stores, independent boutiques, high-end restaurants, cultural attractions, iconic hotels and stunning homes, set against a backdrop of rich history, elegant streets and beautiful green spaces. Stewardship and community are the watchwords of the Estate: both the family and the company take an active interest in its management. Over the years the Cadogan family has donated land and buildings around Chelsea for schools, social housing, churches, a seminary, the town hall, fire station and a hospital. In 2000 Cadogan bought a dilapidated church and converted it into a world-class music venue, creating a subsidised home for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Cadogan Hall, just behind Sloane Square.
Chelsea has also become the epitome of London luxury when it comes to shopping. Originally commissioned by Charles, 1st Earl Cadogan in the 18th century, Sloane Street has evolved to become one of the world’s most exclusive retail destinations. An impressive list of flagship stores – including designers Tom Ford, Alberta Ferretti, Valentino, Chloé, Emilia Wickstead and Giorgio Armani – line a high-fashion catwalk stretching from Knightsbridge to Sloane Square.
Most recently George House, a 135,000 square foot office and retail scheme on the street, has been created and includes both luxury flagship stores and smaller shops for independent artisans’ use including a village butcher, baker, cheesemonger and greengrocer. In partnership with the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, an enhancement of Sloane Street’s public realm is proposed, which will see wider pavements and a greener, even more elegant streetscape resulting in a much improved environment for pedestrians, whether residents or visitors to the area.
At the heart of Cadogan’s management strategy is careful curation of the area, preserving its rich history and charm while ensuring future vitality. Duke of York Square was the first new public square to be opened in London for a century, and now hosts a fantastic selection of shops and restaurants, alongside a weekly Fine Food Market. A massive undertaking to redevelop Ministry of Defence land and buildings, the project also created a new home for the Saatchi Gallery, which displays one of the largest private collections of contemporary art and puts on free exhibitions seven days a week.
For 300 years, Cadogan has been at the heart of Chelsea, contributing to a vibrant and inspiring area through active stewardship. Over the next 300, they plan to encourage its evolution, while preserving the rich heritage and identity that make Chelsea unique.
THE CADOGAN ESTATE 10 DUKE OF YORK SQUARE, LONDON, SW3 4LY +44 (0)20 7730 45