Sambourne House @ 18 Stafford Terrace: Victorian family home

Today we take a look through the historic London townhouse 18 Stafford Terrace also known as Sambourne House as if it’s on Apartment Therapy’s House Tours. The ‘interview’ answers are actually assembled using actual quotes from the owners and snippets from Marion’s personal diaries.

Inside Sambourne House

Sambourne House Interior: 18 Stafford Terrace

Name: Marion, Edward Linley Sambourne, Maud, Roy, along with our live-in servants
Location: Chelsea, London
Type of Home: A Victorian Family Home
Moved in: 1875

Sambourne House Interior: 18 Stafford Terrace

Sambourne House Interior: 18 Stafford Terrace Sambourne House Interior: 18 Stafford Terrace Sambourne House Interior: 18 Stafford Terrace

Inside 18 Stafford Terrace: Meet Marion Sambourne

Mary Ann (Marion) is a talented needlewoman and embroiderer. From what we can see, her fashion style is conventionally smart and appropriate to her position as a middle-class Victorian wife. Her day-to-day life revolves around her family, home and social commitments. Marion has a good eye for money management, and handles her own portfolio of shares.

The couple have two children – Maud (born 1875) and Mawdley, also known as Roy (born 1878).

Sambourne House: Meet Linley Sambourne

Her husband Linley Sambourne works for the popular satirical magazine Punch, he illustrates books, including the 1885 edition of Charles Kingsley’s Water Babies, and a collection of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales. Edward is a keen photographer and has a unique archive with 15,000 photographs, cyanotypes and glass plate negatives.


Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less:
Middle-class Aestheticism, Grade II* listed

Any advice for creating a home you love?
As my husband said the other day: We have lived in this house ever since we were married, and it has taken years to accumulate whatever treasure we possess. What you see is the very best. That has been my principle throughout; not to buy anything but what was really good. But it has taken time to accumulate. There has not been an unlimited exchequer to draw upon.


What is your favourite room and why?
I just love to watch my husband draw in the Drawing Room. It’s also perfect to lay down or have tea.

What are your favourite furniture you have bought for your home and why?
We just love to entertain, hosting jovial dinner parties which last far into the night. The oak suite, which includes an octagonal table and eight chairs upholstered in green Moroccan leather, have to be a favourite.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it?
The lavatory serves as a photo developing studio. My husband Lin is always out and about taking pictures, and he uses it to develop his photographs (to then sketch over). It’s fitted with a pull-out wooden shelf for his chemical.

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