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153 Cromwell Road, Kensington, London

Hitchcock, Alma and unnamed secretary at Cromwell Road in the 1930s

153 Cromwell Road, Kensington, London, SW5 0TQ, was the house Alma and Alfred Hitchcock moved into after their marriage in December 1926. They leased the two top floors of the four-storey building.[1]

Archive maps show that the houses in the area were built sometime around the late 1880s.

Patricia Hitchcock was born at the house on July 7th, 1928. According to Patricia, the top floor was used for bedrooms and the lower floor had the dining and living rooms. The dining room was often used as a base for working on film projects with Hitchcock's collaborators.[2]

In 1928, the Hitchcocks purchased Winter's Grace in Shamley Green, Surrey, as a weekend retreat.

commemorative plaque

The Hitchcocks remained at 153 Cromwell Road until they left for America in March 1939.

In August 1999, Patricia returned to London for the celebrations of the centenary of her father's birth and unveiled a English Heritage blue plaque on the side of the building.[3][4]

In the early 2000s, the property was owned by the local council and was used to home refugees and asylum seekers.

In 2012, the property was sold for £440,000. In February 2014, it was sold for £799,000.[5]

Biography Excerpts

The flat was a maisonette, up ninety-odd stairs (no lift, needless to say). Since Hitch had himself been an art director, and now had many contacts in the studio art department, he designed the interior himself with furniture and fabrics from Liberty’s and had technicians from the studio carry out his designs. It was the first time either he or Alma had lived away from their respective family homes — as unmarried children they had been expected to stay on at home, so all the time they had been working at Islington and courting Hitch and Alma had had to travel halfway across London, he from Leytonstone in the east, she from Twickenham in the west, to meet more or less in the middle. Now they had set up a comfortable, modest home in a conservative English style — solid, traditionally designed furniture, chintzes, polished wood and brass. It was from the first a charming, happy, lived-in home, cosy rather than imposing. The Hitchcocks entertained a lot, and remained happy in their first London home until they moved to America in 1939. By the mid-1930s Hitch was making a lot more money, and much in his life-style had changed. But though he had by then acquired an (also fairly modest) country home as well, he staunchly resisted all suggestions from Michael Balcon and others that he should move to fashionable Mayfair: "I never felt any desire to move out of my own class."
 — Hitch: The Life and Times of Alfred Hitchcock (1978) by John Russell Taylor, chapter 5
Their flat backed on to the Underground — "like a cliff," in the words of Michael Powell, "so that the thunder of the passing trains was distant like the waves on the pebbles of Sandgate beach."
 — Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light (2003) by Patrick McGilligan, chapter 4

Archive Maps

This map from 1895 shows number 153 shaded in green.

The following historic archive maps of the surrounding area are available to download. These are large image files and may take some time to download fully.

Google Maps

Nearest Locations

Image Gallery

Images from the Hitchcock Gallery (click to view larger versions or search for all relevant images)...

Notes & References

  1. Alfred Hitchcock's London: A Reference Guide to Locations (2009) by Gary Giblin, page 173
  2. Alfred Hitchcock's London: A Reference Guide to Locations (2009) by Gary Giblin, page 173
  3. Open Plaques
  4. Alfred Hitchcock's London: A Reference Guide to Locations (2009) by Gary Giblin, pages 173-4
  5. 153 Cromwell Road at Zoopla