Pensioners help celebrate the Chelsea bun

7th May 2019

Bunhouse Place
When Chelsea Pensioner Ernie Boyden noticed a small street called Bunhouse Place, behind the Pimlico Road, he decided to investigate.

Ernie Boyden
He discovered that the Chelsea Bun House – which popularised this delicious confection – was on a site now occupied by Linley’s furniture shop on the Pimlico Road, where the ovens can still be found in the basement.

The Bun House opened in the early 18th century and closed in 1839. It was celebrated in literature and rhyme and patronised by royalty. In its heyday, the Bun House was enormously popular, selling tens of thousands of buns on the final Good Friday before it closed!

Marjorie helps judge bake-off winners

Although the Bun House is no more, the famous spiced and fruity Chelsea Bun is still popular.

On 4 May, local food shop Partridges celebrated 'World Chelsea Bun Day' by hosting a Chelsea Bun bake-off. There were five categories, from junior bakers, to have-a-go grown-ups and judges included Michelin starred chef Phil Howard and our very own Marjorie Cole.

After much deliberation, the winners were announced (see below). Prizes included tickets to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and a children’s crepe and waffle-making class.

Chelsea Bun Bake-Off Winners

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Sowing wildflowers in memory of past Chelsea Pensioners

On 6 May, Chelsea Pensioners and members of the Royal Hospital’s grounds team joined representatives from the Royal Parks, the Royal Parks Guild and the Friends of Brompton Cemetery to sow a patch of wildflower seeds in Brompton Cemetery as part of the Battlefields and Butterflies initiative.

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100 years old and still going strong

Recent research backs up the anecdote that Chelsea Pensioners not only live considerably longer than their peers outside (by over five years, on average), but that their lifetimes once they come to the Royal Hospital are extending, year on year. This strongly suggests that the care and community here contribute to greater longevity – as well as improving quality of life. 

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