In 1793 the author of "Memoires D'Outre-Tombe" Chateaubriand 1768–1848 lived as an emigre in a garret close to this site and began his literary career. He returned in 1822 as French Ambassador and resided in Portland Place
On this spot was situated Cobley's Farm, where Charles Dickens lived in 1843 while writing 'Martin Chuzzlewit'. It is recorded that during his walks with Forster in the Finchley lanes hard by he conceived the immortal character of Mrs. Gamp.
The house where I was born in the South American Pampas... W.H.Hudson. Hudson's Friends Society of Quilmes, near Buenos Aires, where the great writer was born on August 4th 1841, and where he spent his youth, has placed this bronze tablet at 40 Saint Luke's Road, London, the house in which Hudson lived his last years, and died on August 18th, 1922. The plaque was erected by Hudson's Friends Society of Quilmes in 1938 and adopted by the London County Council in the same year.
Well Hall Pleasaunce
An 18th century house standing on this site before its demolition in 1931 was for 23 years the home of Edith Nesbit (1858 - 1924), author of The Railway Children. During her somewhat unusual married life here with husband Hubert Bland, a founder member of the Fabian Society, she wrote many other books including The Phoenix and the Carpet, Five Children and It and the Wouldbegoods.
Before Edith Nesbit took up residence here in 1899, there were other notable occupiers of this imposing three storey house.
The famous clock maker, John Arnold, lived here from 1779 to 1799, seeking an answer to longitude, and the Rev. Charles Fryer, vicar of St John's church at Eltham in the 1840s. The house was used as the boarding section of Well Hall School in the 1880s and their bell can still be seen on the nearby Tudor Barn.
However, Edith Nesbit, with her magic touch of writing children's stories which still live on today in television and film adaptations, is the name now most associated with Well Hall House. She loved living here in this part of South East London and especially enjoyed punting on the moat whilst entertaining her many literary friends, George Bernard Shaw and H.G. Wells among them.
In 1915 and 1916 the grounds were used for garden parties, held to raise funds for The Pioneer Women Campaigners (connected with the Woolwich Labour Party).
Hubert died at Well Hall in 1914. Three years later Edith married marine engineer Tommy Tucker known as 'Skipper', and in 1922 left Eltham for Jesson St. Mary, near Dymchurch Kent, where they had enjoyed numerous holidays exploring the countryside. It was here in 1924 that Edith died; she lies at rest at St. Mary-in-the-Marsh Church, Romney Marsh, Kent.
The Adelphi This building stands on the site of Adelphi Terrace built by the brothers Adam in 1768 - 1774. Among the occupants of the Terrace were Topham and Lady Diana Beauclerk, David Garrick, Richard Doyly Carte, Thomas Hardy & George Bernard Shaw, The London School of Economics and Political Science and the Savage Club also had their premises here. LCC 1951
Hester Thrale born 1741 was a colourful member of London society, noted for her wit and charm. Her book Reflections is recognised to day as an early feminist history, and her Anecdotes on the late Samuel Johnson is a valuable source for quotations. Artist: Jacqueline West
Greater London Council "We can all be refugees. Sometimes it only takes a day, Sometimes it only takes a handshake, Or a paper that is signed. We all came from refugees. Nobody simply just appeared, Nobody's here without a struggle, And why should we live in fear of the weather or the troubles? We all came here from somewhere" from We Refugees by Benjamin Zephaniah