The Queen’s Head, 13 Brook Green, London W6

Following some research at Hammersmith Library recently, Bernard, Colin and I headed round the corner for the short walk to ‘The Queen’s Head’. And who should be leaving as we headed to the bar, but Terry Venables, who we were told, used to live locally.

I proceeded to order a steak sandwich and a pint of Fullers Front Row, described by the brewery as: ‘a balanced, refreshing Ale’ and I certainly wouldn’t disagree with that.

This popular Fullers pub was originally a coaching house and overlooks the west side of the Green.

Back in 1722, the Victuallers’ Return, the earliest known complete record of licensed houses in Hammersmith, listed the pub as ‘The Maidenhead’. It then became known as the ‘Maiden Queens Head’ in 1775, although both names were used up to around 1800, when the present one was adopted.

pub 2
It has been suggested that the original sign may have referred to Queen Elizabeth 1, or perhaps it could even have been taken from the Arms of the Mercers Company.

In April 2012, the local Chronicle featured the pub and the manager, Barry Rigg, stated that he had run the pub for three years and went on to say that: “It’s a much more relaxed environment with a younger clientele than my previous pubs. It’s a fantastic place.”

He was asked how he was managing to overcome the economic downturn: “We are up at the moment. The biggest thing for us is the food. A lot of pubs in Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush are more about drinking and late night partying so we focus on the quality of the menu. There are lots of foodie pubs in Brook Green so it’s important the quality is always high.”

At that time London Pride was the best selling beverage and cost £3.50 a pint. He was then asked what made his pub unique?

“The garden. It’s listed as the third biggest in London and on a sunny day like today it’s glorious. It’s our biggest asset.” Barry Rigg was then asked to describe his average customer.

“In the week it would be young media types and a lot of staff from the Hammersmith companies like L’Oreal and Coca Cola come in. We are a family-friendly pub and at the weekend tend to get a lot of children.”

The article concluded with Barry giving details of the most popular item on his extensive menu.

‘The Queen’s Head’ is reputed to be another pub associated with the famous highwayman, Dick Turpin. The present building dates from the late Victorian period but major renovations took place during the 1990’s.

Apart from Terry Venables, the pub was formerly patronised by the likes of Sir Henry Irving and William Morris.

Steve Russell

(The top pic dates from 1936 and my sources of reference include the superb local history group’s book: ‘A History of Hammersmith’ and also the local archive of course)

8 thoughts on “The Queen’s Head, 13 Brook Green, London W6

  1. I think Terry got word we were on our way and did a runner! Amazing coincidence he should be in the pub given how we had spent the morning.
    Excellent pub with a good feel about it and well worth a visit.

  2. Saw him there a few years ago walking out with a massive Alsatian in tow, so probably a regular watering hole for him, more power to his elbow!

  3. I used to go to the Queens Head every Friday lunchtime in the late 80s, as it was my half day at college and a good way to round off the week. It was run by a friendly Irish landlady (called Breda, I think) back then, and it was your basic, unpretentious pub. I have to say I much preferred it back then. The menu was fairly limited as well in that era. There would have been the standard Ploughman’s Lunch, but I unfailingly plumped for sausage, beans and chips. It was cheap and cheerful and filling. I have been there occasionally over the years. It became very poncey after it had been refurbished and was re-launched as a gastro pub with prices rising exponentially. I much preferred it in the days when it was run by the friendly Irish landlady, although that is not to say that I dislike the pub now. It remains the only pub where I have been refused service. I was not in an inebriated state, I hasten to add, just frustrated with the bar staff’s appalling idea of serving up a whiskey and coke (circa 2005). A friend and I had ordered said drink, only to have it served in a tall glass filled to the brim with coke, thus drowning out the taste of the whisky. The clue for the type of drink we required was the word ‘short’, but this seemed lost on the youthful bar staff. After being served 2 duff rounds of drinks and sending them back to have them replaced, we found ourselves being ignored when attempting to buy more drinks. We were then informed, upon enquiring as to what was happening, that we were being refused service because we had sent their appalling concoctions back. I can only hope that they have improved their service of mixer drinks nearly a decade on! As far as I know, Terry Venables is still living in the Brook Green area, but you would no doubt know better than me. An elusive man, Terry; hard to pin down….

  4. Great read about a pub that could of changed my life way back on 17th September 1977 when this W12 Boy married my W6 girl at the Holy Trinity church Brook Green. At 1.30pm this condemned Hoopsta met for a beer or two in the Queens Head before my 3pm ko. I could of done a runner or even better gone to Loftus Rd where Rangers were playing Man City !!!! But no I went through with it and despite the outlaws thinking I was from the wrong side of the Goldhawk Rd its 37 years and counting for this Mr and Mrs.

  5. I had never been in the Pub before until quite recently. Certainly an upmarket establishment in my opinion but OK by me.

    I did not know that Terry Venables was living in the Brook Green area. Shame we just missed him. I used to work at the same Insurance Brokers(Edward Lumley) as his cousin Elsie Venables(Gray) 1965 to 1974.Never knew what became of her and that would have been a chance to find out…in addition to some juicy QPR related topics of course.

    You have dug out some great background history Steve. Good stuff.

  6. ‘Certainly an upmarket establishment’
    You should know that the boy Russell has gone upmarket now since his retirement!!

  7. I met TV at an FA function two years ago and he was still living at Brook Green. I had a chat with him as was once his postman. He moved there when he was still managing Barca. His two neighbours were Mark Hughes and Gary Lineker although they never actually lived in the houses,they were bought as investments by their same agent and sold on eventually. It’s a private road/gated community with about a dozen houses. When they were built in 1987 they sold for about ¬£400,000 and no doubt have about zeros in the value with a 1 or 2 at the beginning.

  8. I think El Tel is running a hotel in a remote part of Spain. Don’t know how I missed this hostelry, done most in W12 and W6

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