The passage is also one of the oldest in the Earl’s Court part of London, appearing long before the rest of the area was developed.

Earl’s Court was still largely rural in the 1800s, but the beginnings of development started appearing in the 1810s, with a small cluster of streets and houses around Hogarth Place. In 1822, the whole plot of developed houses and streets was put up for sale, with 38 houses and land producing £1,000 a year in rent for the landlord. A bargin today!

At the time, Hogarth Place was called South Row to differentiate it from the appropriately named North Row and created a convenient route to Earls Court Farm, where the tube station is today.

Greenwood map of London 1828

The arrival of the London Underground into what was still a fairly rural area in 1871 spurred housing development, and by the 1890s, the whole area was built up and fully developed with the layout it has today.

OS map 1874

Although North Row still existed, South Row had been renamed Hogarth Place, likely after the neighbouring Hogarth Road which was built next to it. The earliest reference to Hogarth Place as an address is from January 1885, so the renaming likely took place in 1884. By then, Hogarth Place seemed to have also shrunk in width and become more of a pedestrian passage than the road it was originally.

The alley gained some notoriety in the 1920s, as it was home to the headquarters of the newly formed National Fascists until it shut down in 1934. North Row didn’t last much longer either, and by the 1940s, it was merged with Kenway Road, and the two earliest roads in this part of London had lost their original identities.

Today, this is a narrow passage lined with shops and restaurants of so many cultures that would make the descendants of the National Fascists spin in their graves and a notable pub at the top.

The King’s Head pub is very old, dating back to when the area developed, but it has an interesting recent history as well.

During the late 1950s and early 60s, the pub became extremely popular with Australians who had come to London and settled in the Earl’s Court area. Then pub manager Bruce Newton gave the area the nickname ‘Kangaroo Valley’, which stuck for several decades, and the pub also became the first in the UK to regularly serve cold beer rather than the warm pints of bitter more common in the UK at the time. The pub was refurbished in 1971, and it’s said that the bar was shipped to Australia after being bought by a businessman who was a regular drinker in the pub.

Today, the area’s Aussie link is rather weaker than it was, and the pub was refurbished in 2016 as a gastro pub.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with:

This website has been running now for over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, it doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether it's a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what you read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

  1. Ellie says:

    Hi Ian, excellent post and really fascinating history 😄I agree, some really lovely and diverse offerings on Hogarth Road – great local restaurants and supermarkets! Looking forward to reading more from your blog.

  2. Gerry says:

    There’s still an Australian connection hidden in the 020 7373 telephone number for the King’s Head: it was FREmantle until it became 373 when anonymous All-Figure Numbers replaced the memorable and distinctive London exchange names.

    However, lines on the same exchange serving the exhibition centre had DREadnought numbers. Same holes in the dial, but sounded pukka British !

  3. Maroussia Richardson says:

    From 1954 to 1958 I walked through Hogarth Passage on my way to school and drama school, coming from Marloes Road, and making for Earl’s Court Station. Sometime in that period one of the earliest of the Italian Coffee bars opened there, with its enormous machine and its glass cups and saucers (universal in the coffee bars of the time). I frequented it occasionally. There seemed to be no actual choice as to the coffee – it was always cappaccino (can’t spell it) – pale and fluffy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Home >> News >> London's Alleys and Passages