Famously known as the ‘Master of Suspense,’ Alfred Hitchcock was a renowned English film director and master of horror. His cinematic approach—known as the Hitchcockian style—would follow an actor’s gaze on film, giving viewers the sensation of being in the movie. The result paired with scary plot lines left audiences having heart palpitations, gripped by fear.
In 1926, in the throes of the Jazz Age, Hitchcock married screenwriter Alma Reville in South Kensington. After a romantic honeymoon in Paris, the newlyweds settled in a new flat at 153 Cromwell Road in Kensington. The couple leased the top two floors of the building with the top floor used as private bedrooms and the lower floor used for entertaining and lounging.
An excerpt from the biography, Hitch: The Life and Times of Alfred Hitchcock (1978) by John Russell Taylor, gives a look at the influence Hitchcock had on the design of his home:
“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.”
In 1928, the Hitchcocks welcomed their daughter, Patricia, who was born in July. The trio lived at the Cromwell Road address well into the 1930s until they left for America in 1939. In 1999, Patricia returned to the London flat for the centenary of Alfred Hitchcock’s birthday, which was commemorated with a blue heritage plaque still visible on the property today.
Once owned by the local council and used as space for asylum seekers and refugees, the former Hitchcock home is now a private residence that was sold for £799,000.
Know Before You Go
Alfred Hitchcock's former residence is a private home so while visitors can walk past 153 Cromwell Road, a visit inside the flat is not permitted.