Bram Stoker's home, Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London


The timeless vampire Dracula is so famous he even has his own emoji. He was created by novelist Bram Stoker who didn't know when he died at 64 how much his creation would spread across the world in various guises. Bram (from Abraham ) was born in Ireland but moved to London when he was 31 with his wife to help manage the Lyceum Theatre. He kept this job for 27 years and subsidised his wages by writing fiction in the evenings. Dracula was the fifth of his twelve novels and he was 50 years old when it was published.


Here I am outside his first home at 27, Cheyne Walk in Chelsea. His lived here with his wife, son, younger brother and three servants. If you open the front door of this narrow house and walk about 30m you'll find yourself by the side of the River Thames. One day Bram was walking along this embankment when he saw a man fall into the water. He ran to man who was drowning and dragged him out. He carried him back home and laid him out on the kitchen table but the stranger died. His wife Florence (previously engaged to Oscar Wilde) was not amused and the event led to marital discord.


Nowadays Cheyne Walk is outrageously expensive and has been the home to scores of rocks stars, painters and novelists but when Bram lived there in the 1870's it was probably nothing special. Number 27 is on a corner and looks so narrow you'd have to assemble furniture in the upper rooms. Mick Jagger lives at 98 and Canadian rocker dude Bryan Adams lives at 119.


Bram didn't return to Ireland. Perhaps he made a fortune from Dracula as his final home was two miles up the river from this one and it's so big it's now an embassy. He suffered a series of strokes and died at home (it's thought syphilis finished him off.) His ashes are kept in an urn on a shelf at Golders Green Crematorium (surprised they haven't been stolen.)