The Victorian House

18 Stafford Terrace, Linley Sambourne House

Built in the 1870ís is this fine row of Victorian houses in Stafford Terrace, Kensington. From the outside at least, all appear to be identical. If you were to enter number eighteen, you would be instantly catapulted back to the mid-Victorian era as nothing inside has been changed for nearly 150 years.

Stairs and hall Linley Sambourne House
Main Hall and Staircase.

The story goes that in 1874 Linley Sambourne, caricature artist for almost half a century with Punch Magazine, bought the property for £2,000 on an 89-year lease with his newlywed bride Marion Herapath, daughter of a wealthy stockbroker. They both remained living in this house until their deaths, Linley in 1910 and Marion four years later.

Morning Room Linley Sambourne House
Morning Room: The stained glass windows were added by the Sambournes when they bought the house.

Drawing Room
Drawing Room Linley Sambourne House

The house was then left to their only son Roy, a bachelor who left the house completely unchanged. After Royís death, his elder sister Maud inherited the property and having other homes to live she kept this house untouched largely because she had enjoyed her childhood there so much. After Maudís death, it passed to her daughter Anne, grandmother of Antony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon. She made use of the house until 1957 when she and some friends that included John Betjeman and Nikolaus Pevsner, decided to preserve the house and its contents by founding the Victorian Society.

Drawing Room Linley Sambourne House

In 1980 Anne sold the House and its contents to the Greater London Council, and it was agreed that the Victorian Society would run it as a museum. It opened to the public in Autumn 1980. Following the abolition of the Greater London Council, ownership of the house passed to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Report of my tour of Linley Sambourne House

For more details on how to visit Linley Sambourne House

All pictures used on this page © Linley Sambourne House,
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, *except the outside of my tour and the maid shots.

London Time

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