Chester Place was designed by John Nash as part of his plan of 1811 to develop the Crown Estate lands as a fashionable residential area, with the backing of the Prince Regent, later George IV. Authorisation had been given in 1794 for developing the land, once part of Henry VIII's hunting park but by then leased mainly as farmland, which was due to revert to the Crown in 1811. Chester Place is named after the Prince Regent who was also Earl of Chester.
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Situated behind Cumberland Place (q.v.), is Chester Place with a small area of private garden. On the west side are cast-iron railings of geometrical pattern and terrace wall with lamp overthrow and on the east side are cast-iron railings with tasselled spearhead finials to the forecourt gardens. The 3-storey stucco houses were designed by John Nash and built in 1825-6 as part of his plan of 1811 to develop the Crown lands as the fashionable residential estate of Regent's Park. Previously known as Marylebone Park it formed part of the royal hunting chase appropriated by Henry VIII in 1538 and remained so until 1646, and later used as farmland. At the end of the Civil War it had been sold by Cromwell to John Spencer but reverted to the Crown at the Restoration and was subsequently leased to various noblemen, finally the Duke of Portland, whose lease was due to revert to the Crown in 1811. John Fordyce, appointed Surveyor General of His Majesty's Land Revenue in 1794 was authorised to produce a plan for the area of Marylebone Park and various architects competed for the tender. On Fordyce's death the offices of Land Revenue were combined with those of Woods and Forests and the architects of the two departments were asked to produce plans.
John Nash (1752-1835), who was official architect to the Commission of Woods and Forest and a friend of the Prince Regent, designed the layout of the park as it is today as part of his grand plan for London that was approved by the Treasury in October 1811. His plan had an avenue stretching from Marylebone via Portland Place and Regent Street to Carlton House Terrace and Gardens (q.v.), and included the 400-acre park was to be surrounded by palatial terraces and villas.
Chester Place is named after the Prince Regent who was also Earl of Chester. A number of well-known people are connected with Chester Place, including Sara Coleridge, daughter of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, herself a writer of fairy stories as well as editor of her father's work, who lived at No. 10 from 1837 until her death in 1852. Charles Dickens rented a house here in 1847 when his son Charley, ill with scarlet fever, was living nearby with the Hogarth family and at this time he was writing 'Dombey and Son'. While the Dickens were here their son Sydney was born. Sir Gerald du Maurier lived at No. 5, later moving to Cumberland Terrace, and the musician Ignaz Moscheles lived from 1830-46 at No. 3, where his friend Felix Mendelssohn's choral work 'Elijah' was rehearsed in 1846.
Peter Woodford (ed.) 'From Primrose Hill to Euston Road' (Camden History Society, 1995 ed); Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, 'The Buildings of England London 3: North West' (Penguin, 1999 ed)