This Chelsea house was once the home of Mary Poppins creator P. L. Travers
- By Bertie Russell
- 12 November 2019
A stunning terraced house in Chelsea that was once home to Mary Poppins creator P.L. Travers has gone on the market — and it could be yours for a spoonful of sugar and £4.85m…
The home is situated just off the bustling King’s Road, on fashionable Shawfield Street, a collection of terraced mews houses where, at number 29, author and Mary Poppins creator P.L. Travers lived.
The Grade II listed family home is spread over 2,195-square-foot comprising of four bedrooms, three bathrooms, three terraces, five entertaining spaces and a well-sized garden.
The home is a far cry from the dilapidated house occupied by the Banks family on nearby Cherry Tree Lane. Recently refurbished, the four-storey home is in immaculate condition, boasting a master bedroom with ensuite, study, cinema room, wine cellar and utility room.
P.L. Travers was born in Australia, spending her formative years at boarding school in Sydney. Her early life was marred with tragedy, losing both her mother and father at a young age, and these childhood experiences went on to inspire characters and events in the Mary Poppins series.
Her abilities as a writer were evident from an early age, with several poems being published throughout her teenage years, and touring Australia as a Shakespearean actress.
Upon emigrating to England aged 25 in 1924, Pamela Lydon Travers adopted the pen name P.L. Travers, further honing her talents around other exceptional writers of the time, such as W. B. Yeats.
A decade after arriving and working as an actress and journalist, P.L. Travers published Mary Poppins(1934). The book was Travers’ first success with the magical nanny and mythological-inspired stories capturing the imagination of children, whilst the subtle social commentary appealed to an older audience.
29 Shawfield Street was purchased by P.L. Travers in 1962, following the release of the fifth book, Mary Poppins From A to Z (1962). She would go on to write three further novels in the house, living there for the rest of her life until passing in 1996.
The house even has links to Hollywood as it was recently featured in the movie Saving Mr Banks (2013). The movie covers the 14-year period in which Walt Disney (played by Tom Hanks) petitioned the reluctant P.L. Travers (played by Emma Thompson) for the rights to transform the Mary Poppins books into a movie following a promise Disney made to his daughters to do so.
Mary Poppins (1964) went on to garner both critical and commercial fame, winning five Oscars and launching the career of Hollywood royalty, Julie Andrews. Famously, P.L. flew into a rage upon discovering that Disney had broken a promise to not include animation.
Hugo Cordle, sales negotiator at specialist Chelsea estate agents Russell Simpson, commented: ‘It’s a real pleasure to market a home previously owned by one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. It’s hard to not imagine Mary Poppins and her famous umbrella swooping in to arrive on the roof terrace.
‘This is an exceptional family home with an abundance of lateral living space spread across two floors. With all of the action of the King’s Road at the end of the street the house is in an exceptionally sought-after area of Chelsea.’
Upon entering the front door, the reception room is located directly on the right, leading onto the sitting room and study, with views over the garden. The lower ground floor is also dedicated to living space, featuring an elegant kitchen/dining room, leading onto a cinema room, providing access to a secluded high walled garden.
To the front of the lower ground floor a utility room and additional bathroom can be accessed via a separate entrance, which also provides access to the kitchen.
The first floor comprises of the master bedroom with Juliet balcony and ensuite bathroom. The floor is completed by an additional bedroom and second bathroom. The second-floor features two well sized bedrooms, and both have individual terraces and share a bathroom.
29 Shawfield Street is on the market for £4,850,000 via Russell Simpson.
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