18 Stafford Terrace

18 Stafford Terrace
Greater London
W8 7BH


Official website





020 7602 3316

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
The Drawing Room
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In 1874 Edward Linley Sambourne married Marion Herapath, the daughter of a wealthy stockbroker. Helped by Marion's father, the couple paid £2,000 for an 89-year lease on 18 Stafford Terrace. Classical Italianate in style, Stafford Terrace was built in the 1870s as part of the new developments on the Phillimore Estate. The inhabitants of Stafford Terrace, as listed in the 1871 census, were professional men including retired officers, senior civil servants, tradesmen etc. The arrival of an artist at no.18 Stafford Terrace was a novelty. The young couple decided to furnish their home in the fashionable 'aesthetic' or artistic style of the period. They lived in the house for the next 36 years and, although they made some alterations, the basic decorative scheme remains the same today. Linley Sambourne died in 1910 and his wife in 1914. Their only son Roy inherited the house. Though Roy enjoyed the company of numerous pretty actresses, he never married. He made only minimal changes to his parents' house. When he died in 1946, Roy left everything to his elder sister Maud. She had married Leonard Messel in 1898 and the couple already owned a big house in London and another in the country. Maud did not need 18 Stafford Terrace, but she had a sentimental attachment to her childhood home. She wanted to preserve the house and its contents and persuaded her daughter Anne to use it as a pied à terre during her occasional visits to London from the country. Anne Messel had married Ronald Armstrong-Jones in 1925. (Their son Antony married Princess Margaret in 1960 and was created Earl of Snowdon.) The Armstrong-Jones's were divorced in 1935 and Anne married Michael, sixth Earl of Rosse. Although 18 Stafford Terrace was never her principal residence, it was the setting for numerous parties whenever she came to London. At a Guy Fawkes night party in 1957, Anne proposed founding a Victorian Society to encourage the preservation and appreciation of what was then unfashionable art and architecture. A handful of enthusiasts, including Sir John Betjeman and Nikolaus Pevsner, agreed to support the cause. 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.

Venue Type:

Museum, Historic house or home

Opening hours

September - June
Mon-Fri (advance pre-booked tours for groups and schools)
Wed (public tours at 11.15 & 14.15)
Sat & Sun (public tours at 11.15, 13.00, 14.15, 15.30)

Closed: mid June - mid September

Admission charges

£8.00 (Adult rate)
£6.00 (Concessions: Over 60 and students)
£3.00 (Children)
£90.00 (class visits of up to 30 children)

Collection details

Archives, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Personalities

Key artists and exhibits

  • Edward Linley Sambourne
  • Roy Sambourne
  • Maud & Leonard Messel
  • Anne Messel
  • Michael, sixth Earl of Rosse
  • Ronald Armstrong-Jones
  • Antony Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon
  • Princess Margaret
  • Sir John Betjeman
  • Nikolaus Pevsner
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Behind Closed Doors: Linley Sambourne House Video


18 Stafford Terrace was a Victorian family home. You are about to step back in time to the year 1899 where you will embark on a brief tour of 18 Stafford Terrace, London, through the eyes of the servants and the lady of the house. This is the home of the Sambourne Family who lived here from 1875. We hope you enjoy this preview.
You can also read the text transcript of the video here: www.rbkc.gov.uk/linleysambournehouse/video/transcript.asp

School Tours of the Linley Sambourne House


Tours led by costumed guides and educational activities are available to school groups.

How to obtain

For more information and to book please telephone 020 7471 9156. Price for class of up to 30 children: £60.