30 Wellington Square – Home to the Literary James Bond?

Home of Literary James Bond
Home of the literary Bond? 30 Wellington Square (Photo taken Sept ’23)

Address: 30 Wellington Square, Chelsea

Set Up: 

There has been a lot of thorough investigations over the years done on the precise address of the literary James Bond. I’m not here to do add any ground breaking facts, partly because I don’t have any, and partly because I have an appointment to get my teeth cleaned and I really need to crack on.

However, I would like to consolidate some of the research I’ve found on various forums and books as well as include some up-to-date photos of the proposed flat of the literary James Bond.

Wellington Sqaure chelsea
Wellington Square: Photo by Peter Brooker: Sept 2023

Is it mentioned by Fleming?

Neither the square nor the flat number is mentioned in any of the Fleming novels. Bond’s flat is mentioned in Casino Royale as a ‘Chelsea flat’. In Moonraker Fleming informs us that Bond has a small ground floor flat in a converted Regency house off the King’s Road that is peppered with plane trees. (Although he doesn’t use the word peppered, I just like to include that in because I like the word peppered). In From Russia With Love, he tells us the sitting room has a bay window.

What is a bay Window?

A bay window is a three sectioned window that bows outward. Example photo:

Bay Window
An example of a Bay Window: Image Source: Progress Windows

It’s well documented that the original conceit for why the literary Bond lived at No. 30 Wellington Square was because John Pearson identified this abode when he wrote the ‘James Bond: Authorized Biography’. Gary Giblin’s James Bond’s London couldn’t fathom why, but according to the article by David Salter on Literary 007, it’s because Pearson had a friend who lived there.

Me outside 30 Wellington Square
Yep it’s me!

Reasons for why not

There are two main reasons why 30 Wellington Square is a misfit for Fleming’s Bond. One there is no bay window and two there is an ornamental fountain in the garden square directly opposite. I’ve back checked the provenance and that fountain has been there since 1926. It’s very curious as to why this was not mentioned in the description by Fleming if indeed it was this square he had in mind.

Ornamental fountain 30 Wellington Square
Photo sourced from Google

When I fielded this out on my From Tailors With Love Instagram, various other Bond nuts and content creators offered up some suggestions. David from the 007 Dossier remarks:

While it’s fun to try and pin down all aspects of James Bond, it’s also pretty futile. I think Fleming made a lot of it up as he went along and was often quite scant in providing details – when he did provide details he often got them wrong! We’ll never know if Fleming had a specific house he was thinking of, or even a specific square.

Inside James Bond's Flat
Photo Source: Daily Mail. Inside the flat of the literary James Bond

There has been some offerings that Markham Square would be a better fit. Specifically No. 38 Markham Square as it has a bay window. But as Gary Giblin points out, Markham Square is not a ‘little Chelsea square’ as Fleming puts, and it doesn’t have plane trees. There has been other evidence to present Carlyle Square as Bond’s literary home, but I have yet to investigate that particular square.

In the meantime I thought you might like to see inside 30 Wellington Square. Some photos (above and below) are from a Daily Mail article that posted an article when it was up for sale for £3,250 a month back in August 2020.

James Bond Flat Ian Fleming 30 Wellington Square
Photo source: Daily Mail (James Bond Flat Ian Fleming 30 Wellington Square).

Nearest Bond Location: Skyfall, M’s House: 82 Cadogan Square, London SW1X 0EA

Nearest Pint: The Phoenix (untested) 23 Smith St, London SW3 4EW

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