18 Stafford Terrace is indistinguishable from its neighbouring stucco fronted houses apart from its unusual window box
Earlier this week I enjoyed a complementary tour of 18 Stafford Terrace, a remarkably well preserved late Victorian townhouse. It’s located on a quiet road just moments from busy Kensington High Street. It's one in a row a terraced classical styled properties dating from the 1870s and consists of five floors including basement and attic. The house, was previously known as Linley Sambourne House after its most famous resident Edward Linley Sambourne, the Punch cartoonist.
All admissions to 18 Stafford Terrace are by guided tours only. On the day I visited Shirley was our guide and her knowledge and enthusiasm made for a very enjoyable visit. The tour started in the servants’ quarters in the basement where we watched an introductory film show about the house and its former occupants. On leaving the basement we viewed the remainder of the house which is a Victorian time capsule.
Hall and Staircase
Linley and Marion, his wife, moved into the house in 1875 and it is here that the couple brought up their two children Maud and Roy. The couple decorated their home in the fashionable artistic style of the day. William Morris Pomegranate wall paper is mostly obscured by pictures.
The morning room was where Marion would have conducted her business and entertained friends.The bay window is just one of many example of beautiful stained glass which can be found throughout the house.
The drawing room occupies the whole of the first floor. The interior would have originally looked much brighter with its expensive red and gold coloured Japanese wall paper which today has faded.
The fine porcelain plates, which would have impressed their guests, where located on high shelves out of close scrutiny where no one would notice that they had been purchased at a reduced price because they were slightly chipped.
Originally used as a spare bedroom it later became Roy’s bedroom. On the walls are hung photographs of pretty actresses he knew such as Edna May.
Originally used as the children's nursery Linley later transformed the area into his photography studio.
Address: 18 Stafford Terrace. London, W8 7BH
Nearest Tube Station: Kensington High Street. The station is in Travelcard Zone 1. The house is an easy 5 minutes walk from the station.
Opening Hours: 18 Stafford Terrace is only open for guided tours on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. There are two different tours on offer conventional and costume tours. Please check website for up to date details before travelling.
Please note the house will be closed for routine maintenance from Monday 10 June and re-opens on Saturday 14 September 2013
Prices: £8/ 6. Please check website for details.
Please note that the tour involves climbing several flights of stairs and is therefore not suitable for people with mobility problems.
The author of this blog is a qualified City of London and City of Westminster Tour Guide who leads guided walks combining world famous landmarks with hidden treasures often missed by the crowds.