In the 1800’s, Hammersmith was little more than a hamlet with a population of around 5,600. There were 37 public houses recorded in the area including no less than three of them named ‘The Hop Poles’. One theory is that it probably takes its name from the gangs of locals who provided seasonal labour for the hop fields around Kent.
The Hop Poles has been a hotel and is supposed to date back to 1857 following the amalgamation of two other pubs. These were most probably; ‘The Three Hop Poles’ and ‘The Manchester Arms’ who were listed in the Middlesex Post Office Directory of 1826 as occupying the same site. Although Grade 11 listed on 12th December 1980, the pub underwent some refurbishment in the summer of 2007.
Last month, myself, Colin (Essex UR’s) and Bernard (Kerrins) popped in for lunch after spending our Monday morning at the local archives. I eventually decided on a pint of Sharp’s Doom Bar. This had been Bill Sharp’s flagship ale and his modern Cornish brewery was purchased by Molson Coors Brewing Company in 2011 for £20m.
I then ordered the chicken wrapped in bacon with chips from the £5.95 ‘lunchtime special’ menu. The pub is quite spacious and at the back there is a tiny alleyway garden. Upstairs there was a large function room and unfortunately we didn’t take advantage of the roof terrace.
The above pic was taken on 20th May 1903 when it was known as the ‘Hop Poles Hotel’. It had been decorated to mark the route of Edward V11’s procession along King Street to open the new Kew Bridge. The decorations were magnificently arranged by John M. East, the manager of the Lyric Theatre.