Chelsea Embankment opening antique print

£20.00

Chelsea Embankment antique print. On 16th. May 1870 ‘The Illustrated London News’ reported on the opening of  Joseph Bazalgette’s  Chelsea Thames Embankment by the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. A nice clean image in excellent condition. Paper size 15.75 x 10.75 inches.

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Description

Chelsea Embankment antique print. On 16th. May 1870 ‘The Illustrated London News’ reported on the opening of the Chelsea Embankment by the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.

Joseph Bazalgette’s Chelsea Embankment formed part of his project to provide a modern sewage system for the capital that provided 82 miles of underground brick sewers to transport London’s sewage to outflows east of London.

His plan had been adopted in the wake of the ‘Great Stink’ of 1858 which was the result of ‘raw sewage’ flowing into the River Thames.

At its western end embanking would pass through Chelsea in Middlesex and the City of Westminster.

However, since London did not exist as a county (this wouldn’t occur until 1889) strategic planning lay in the hands of the Metropolitan Board of Works which was established in 1855.

As part of its task, it would have to embank the River Thames in front of some of the most expensive housing in the metropolis.

At Cheyne Walk a road and walkway would be constructed and beneath the road would be a sewer taking wastewater from west London eastwards towards its destination of Beckton in Essex.

The ’embanking’ of the Chelsea riverfront moved the River Thames away from the housing along its banks and for very many residents removed their access to moorings and landing stages along its length.

Denial of access was an issue with many residents since the River Thames was at this time still “London’s Highway.”

Chelsea Hospital, founded by Charles II, had enjoyed access to the Thames along the entire length of its southern boundary but no more, finding itself ‘boxed in’ by what was to become a major east-west route for Londoners.

To the far west of Chelsea, Chelsea Harbour was created in the late 1980s and in doing so the developers had to copy with crossing Bazalgette’s storm sewer. It stands on land that was once the 28 acre estate of Sandford Manor House. Today it is a mixed residential, hotel and marina complex.

Along the river itself, Chelsea Reach and Cadogan Pier are situated beyond the embankment and provide moorings for people living in boats on the river. However, I’m not aware of any of these moorings being used by residents living north of the roadway.

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