Post to thr west Barons Court
Site of the Earl’s Court Manor house, which stood on the site of the present western terrace of the road. It was not demolished until 1886. In the 1790s it was the home of anatomist and surgeon, John Hunter when he kept animals for ‘observation and experiment’, including buffalo and eagles chained to rocks. From 1832 it was a Private Asylum for Young Ladies
Gardens. These were laid out formally and simply and originally were owned by the Gunter Estate. They were maintained and financed from of enclosure rates. Residents bought out the freehold in 1993. The gardens have a central feature with planting set into the lawn and wide gravel paths. The gardens are protected under the 1851 Garden Square Act.
1 PM Trust Hostel for young catering workers in the 1980s. A pier of the back-garden gate of Earls Court House survives to the rear.
Before the Great War this was called Wetherby Road.
High Commission for Santa Lucia
Gardens. This was provided for the use of residents of the street who paid a fee for upkeep. In 1928 it was surrounded by a privet hedge and laid out with lawn, flower beds, and trees. It now boasts some of the tallest plane trees in any London square. The railings were removed for the Second World War Effort and it was not until the early 1990s that they were replaced. Benches have been bequeathed.
Built on the site of a wax bleaching works owned by a Samuel Child.
Childs Mews was an old works site. In the 1960s-70s it was a garage, Taurus Performance Tuning, and before that the A1 Garage. In the 1980s it used by was a contact lens manufacturing company, Saufron Pharmaceuticals.
Gardens. Laid out for Harold Peto, who developed the area. They are in a naturalistic style, featuring tall plane trees placed on lawns, as if survivors from ancient local woodland. The original layout remains intact: with wide lawns and curving gravel paths. The open central lawn is circular and framed by shrub beds, each with its own Japanese cherry tree.
1 Dominican High Commission. The Commission is the diplomatic representative of the Dominica in the. It provides consular services to Dominican citizens, people of Dominican descent and potential visitors and investors to Dominica.
1 High Commission of Santa Lucia
4-5 Metropolitan Ear Nose and Throat Hospital. Here 1947-1953 plus a nurses' home.
9 St.John’s Lutheran Church. 1973-2008.
23 Collingham College. This is an independent, co-educational GCSE and Sixth Form college, founded in 1975.
23 Gibbs’ Preparatory School. They preceded Collingham College
30 Mosque of the Qatar Embassy Arabic and African Sunni mainstream
30 Qatar Medical Office
24 St.Mellitus College. This is a Church of England theological college based in St.Jude’s Church established in 2007 by the Diocese of London and the Diocese of Chelmsford. The College runs ordination and theology courses. In order to convert it to a college the building has been entirely rmodelled.
St.Jude’s Church. This was designed by architects George and Henry Godwin, and built 1867–70; the tower and spire were added in 1879. It was financed by John Derby Allcroft, a glove manufacturer. It is now St Mellitus College, and also used by the Earl's Court Project for the homeless. . It is one of four sites used by Holy Trinity Brompton.
Counters Creek was a stream which flowed through the area on the line of the West London Railway. It originated in the Kensal Green area reaching the Thames at Chelsea Creek. It was used as the basis for the Kensington Canal and subsequently the railway.
Built around 1877 on site of the Great Court Field which was part of Earls Court Manor.
Gardens. This square covers Courtfield Gardens West and only the edge of Courtfield Gardens East, which is in the square to the east. Courtfield Gardens West has a traditional garden square layout with lawns, gravel paths, circular clumps of shrubbery and trees, including a London plane has the widest girth of any other local tree. Privet hedging which once surrounded the garden was removed when replica railings were installed.
Warwick Mansions by Philip E. Pilditch, 1903-4, for John Barker and Co. whose repositories originally stood behind them. Built on the site of the Erard piano works and Bishop’s furniture depository.
This is a major road designated as part of the A4. Named from Cromwell House said to have been the home of Oliver Cromwell’s son. The Road was extended west from Gloucester Road to the West London railway extension line in 1869 but a bridge was needed over the line. It was not always the main traffic route and the extension from Earls Court – the section in this square – running across the West London railway line and towards Hammersmith was authorised in 1884 but only finished in 1941. So this became the A4 only after the Second World War. It is now lined with hotels.
Cromwell Hospital. Private hospital owned by BUPA. It was purpose built and opened in 1981.BUPA stands for British United Provident Association.
Earls Court Road
The road follows an old lane from the High Street to the farm at Earl's Court where a modest hamlet once stood.
St Philip Church. This dates from 1858. The first vicar was the curate at St Barnabas and he also paid £5,000 towards the cost. The clock was added in 1883 and has recently been restored to full working order. The church was damaged in Second World War bombing. In 2002 Major restoration work has been undertaken,
123 Earls Court Tavern. This dates from the 1879s. A Greene King House.
Earls Court Station. This opened in 1871 and lies between Gloucester Road and West Kensington and also West Brompton on the District Line. It lies between Gloucester Road and Barons Court on the Piccadilly Line. It was built by the Metropolitan District Railway in 1871 when they extended to here from High Street Kensington Station. Then to in 1872 they continued on to Kensington. In 1875 the station was burnt down and rebuilt in 1878 on its present site which is on the other side of the road from the original. It was rebuilt by the Metropolitan District Railway and the train shed is of this date by John Wolfe Barry. In 1905 it was rebuilt to a design by Harry Ford, the District Railway’s architect. In 1906 the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway began services from the station. . On the street facing fascia is inscribed `District Railway: Earl's Court Station. G N Piccadilly and Brompton Railway'. The first escalator at an underground station was installed here in 1911 between the deep platforms and the new concourse. There is some original tiling left. Shops built as part of the station retain some original glass. There is another frontage on Warwick Road
Police Phone Box. This is outside the station and said to be the last one left in London.
Earls Court Farm. The farmhouse which stood close to the railway station was demolished in 1878 having occupied 190 acres. It was the property of William Edwards, Baron Kensington in 1776 whose family subsequently developed from 1811. Street names relate to their home county of Pembroke
Manor House. The Manor House lay adjacent to the farm. It dated from the 1790s and replaced an older building. It was here the manor courts were held. Demolished for the station in the 1860s.
Old Manor Yard. This was laid out 1874-8 on the site of the old manor house. It is now a mews development,
161 The Prince of Teck. The pub was built in 1868 for the Child family. It was altered from 1879–81 with balustrading, stone wyverns and busts by George Edwards.
Earls Court House. This had a frontage on Earls Court Road but its site is now Barkston Gardens.
Courtfield Pub. Dates from 1879.
209 Blackbird Pub. This was previously a branch of The Midland Bank which was converted into a Fullers Ale & Pie house in 1994.
326 The Bolton. This is on the site of the Bolton Hotel. Built in 1892
Earls Court Square
Gardens. The original communal garden was a simple rectangle with grass, paths leading to a central circular feature and tennis courts. Poor maintenance by the owners led to the formation of a Residents Garden Committee in 1974. Improvements have included new steel railings, an irrigation system, flood-lighting, a garden shed, seating around the central plane tree and children's play equipment.
Empress State Building. By Stone, Toms & Partners, completed in 1962 for the Admiralty, and was one of the first London office towers on a massive scale. It is on the site of the former Empress Hall. It was renovated in 2003 to by Wilkinson Eyre Architects. Adding three floors to its height. It was designed as a hotel but was first used by the Admiralty and GCHQ 'Composite Signal Organisation Station'. The Directorate of Naval Shore Telecommunications had their national headquarters here. It is occupied by the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police Historical Collection. It has now been bought by the London mayor's office for the the Earl's Court regeneration scheme,
Empress Hall. In 1894 Hungarian showman Imre Kiralfy built the Empress Theatre. It had been built by D. Charteris to the designs of Allan O. Collard. Seating was all on one level so the space could hold upwards of 5,000 people. The stage was six times the size of most stages of the time. There was also a large water tank behind the front of the stage which was used for a ‘Great Naval spectacle’ and the like. During the Great War it was to accommodate Belgian refugees. In 1935 the lease was granted to Earl’s Court Ltd, which opened an ice-rink. As the Empress Hall it was used for ice spectaculars. In the 1948 Olympic Games it was used for boxing, wrestling, gymnastics and weight lifting. The Empress State Building now stands on the site
Lillie Bridge Depot. There is an entrance here to the London Underground Depot which lies in the square to the west.
West Brompton Bus Stand.
7 Kings Head. This dates from the 1860s. It claims an Australian clientele and that part of the bar was shipped to Sydney and is in a pub there. It is now a Fullers house.
2 Health and Wellbeing Centre. NHS Clinic. This is in what was a Royal Mail Sorting office. It was converted to a clinic in 2011.
This canal passed through this area on the line of Counters Creek and which is now the line of the West London railway line. In 1822 plans were drawn up on the instigation of Lord Kensington to build this canal. Funds were raised and Thomas Hollinsworth, appointed as surveyor. The canal opened in 1828. The canal ran more or less straight in a south-south-easterly direction, turning east at the confluence to the River Thames at Chelsea Creek. There was a small basin and steps to street level immediately south of what is now Lillie Road. Traffic was very limited and it was a financial failure. In 1836 the canal was bought by the Bristol, Birmingham and Thames Junction Railway which became the West London Railway. Initially they built a railway only to the canal basin but this was not successful and in 1859 the route of the canal was used for a new railway line which is still in use as the West London Railway.
The stretch of road from Earls Court Road to the Kings Head was once called North Road
Gardens (the actual gardens are in the square to the north)
This was earlier called Richmond Road and re-named after Sir John Scott Lillie an investor in the
MacOwen Theatre. This was built for the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art who used it while they were based in Cromwell Road. It was converted from two artists' studios, plus an unused church hall to the rear. It was named after Michael MacOwan principal of LAMDA 1958-1966. The design was the a collaboration between actor producer Michael Warre, stage designer John Terry, and architect R. W. Hurst of Humphrys Hurst. The performance space could be used either with a proscenium, long-traverse or in-the-round. In 2003 LAMDA moved to Talgarth Road but continued to own the Theatre until 2011 when they sold it to a developer. It has since been converted into flats.
Logan Studios. These were on the site later converted into a theatre. From 1911 they were used by a succession of artists. Frank Lynn Jenkin 1911, William Bateman Fagan 1926, Maurice Lambert
1932 - 1955
Garden Lodge Studio. A studio wing is attached to a house behind a brick wall built 1908–9 for painter Cecil Rea and sculptress Constance Halford. The architect was Ernest William Marshall.
The square was badly bombed in August 1944.
Gardens. The gardens were provided for the residents of Nevern Square 1880-82 who bought them in 1974. Seven plane trees may have been part of the original planting, and the garden has a wide variety of trees.
Old Brompton Road
Brompton Library. Local authority library. This is a 1970s building with the usual lending and reference sections, plus a video, DVD and music CD collection.
261 The Pembroke. The pub dates from 1866. Until 2008 this was The Coleherne Arms which was a gay pub. In the 1970s it was a Leather bar. In 2008, it was rebranded as The Pembroke and now owned by Greene King.
Princess Beatrice Hospital. The Hospital was founded to commemorate the Jubilee of Queen Victoria, and opened as the Queen's Jubilee Hospital in 1887. It had 14 beds for the 'sick and needy poor'. In 1907 it became the Kensington General Hospital, and by 1921 the Kensington, Fulham and Chelsea Hospital. Initially it was in Walwyn House, previously called Brecknock Villa, and was replaced in 1930 with a new building. Queen Victoria's youngest daughter, Beatrice, laid the foundation stone and her Alexander of Battenberg was President of the Hospital, It was thus renamed the Princess Beatrice Hospital. By the 1960s it had 100 beds but in 1971 was converted to an obstetric unit. It closed in 1978.
Princess Beatrice House. This is the old hospital building used as hostel accommodation for the Look Ahead Housing Association for single people on low incomes.
294 Lord Ranelagh. This pub closed in 2011 when it was called ‘Infinity’. It has since been demolished.
Brompton Cemetery. The majority of the cemetery is in the square to the south. The cemetery frontage on Old Brompton Road includes the North Gatehouse and North Lodge. This was built to look like a triumphal arch. It was refurbished in 1856, the front and refaced in Aislaby Stone. It suffered extensive bomb damage during World War II and was subsequently restored. It now houses a café and visitor centre.
West Brompton Station. Opened in 1869 this lies between Earls Court and Fulham Broadway Stations on the District Line; between Imperial Wharf and Kensington Olympia Stations on both the West London Line and the Southern Railway. It was originally built for the West London Extension Joint Railway which had opened a link between Kensington Olympia and Clapham Junction station. It opened in 1866 and was designed by Sir John Fowler the Chief Engineer of the Metropolitan District Railway. In 1869, the District Railway opened a station next door as the terminus of an extension from Gloucester Road and in 1880 this was extended to Putney Bridge. In 1940 the West London Line to Clapham from Willesden was closed following bomb damage and its station was demolished in the late 1940s, although the platforms remained into the 1970s. The District Line continued to use the station. 54 years later in 1994 the West London line reopened and in 1999 a new station was opened funded by the local councils. This was designed by Robinson Kenning and Gallagher and a plaque commemorates the opening.
Counters Creek. It is said that remains of this stream and its successor, the Kensington Canal can be seen from West Brompton Station. Remains of the Creek can be seen in a ditch after heavy rainfall beside the westbound platform of the station. Remains of the original canal bridge can also be seen.
Lillie Bridge. The current road bridge over the railway dates from 1860 and is the work of Sir John Fowler.
Barker’s Depository. This opened in 1895 and stood behind Warwick Mansions. Barkers had a department store in Kensington High Street started by John Barker in 1870. It was sold to House of Fraser in 1957 and was closed in 2006. The depository was built by Philip E. Pilditch in 1902–3 with a new five-storey building linking the western ends of two existing blocks on the site of the Erad factory. They added Warwick Mansions which Barkers sold in 1929. In 1975 they gave up use of their depositories and sold them to Kensington and Chelsea Council.
Erard pianos. Between Cromwell Crescent and Warwick Road, was a factory for the French piano and harp manufacturers, Messrs. S. and P. Erard. They had been founded in 1780 in Paris by Sébastien Erard and had had a branch in London since 1794. They were the leading piano manufacturer in the world by 1851 when they built this factory . They produced annually over 1,000 pianos and harps at its here factory and employed some 300 workers. The factory was enlarged in 1859 . The site was eventually sold to Barkers
Bishop and Sons. This firm of furniture removers, also used part of the the Erard site to the south west for their depositories
Kensington Council Central Depot. This is in the squares to the north and west.
St. Cuthbert's Church. This was built 1884–87, designed by Hugh Roumieu Gough with interior furnishings by William Bainbridge Reynolds. Its foundation stone was quarried at Lindisfarne. It has been seen as an important example of the Arts and Crafts movement. In the 1880s it was the leading High Anglican Church locally – and there were some protests at this style of worship. The church has some relics of St.Cuthbert – bits of coffin and so on
51 Philbeach Hall. This lies north of the clergy house and was built to Gough's designs in 1894–96. It housed a library, a hall, a gymnasium and room for unmarried curates. The northern end of the building bombed in 1940 and rebuilt in 1956–57.
Gardens. The central gardens are totally enclosed by houses and only accessible from them. They were laid out in 1875 and each house in the outer circle also has its own private garden. It is maintained by a Garden Committee consisting of those with a right of access. In the 1920 there were tennis courts and a tennis club. Today it is a leafy crescent with mature trees, shrubs and lawn.
Point West Access Road
Point West. This block of flats was the West London Air Terminal
The West London Air Terminal was a check-in facility for British European Airways customers flying from Heathrow Airport. It replaced the terminal at Waterloo and ran between 1957 to 1974. Passengers who had checked in got their boarding passes; they were taken to Heathrow by coach. It was sited on a section of disused railway called Cromwell Curve. It was designed by Sir John Burnet, Tait and Partners. In 1983 a supermarket opened in part of the building and in 1997, flats were built in the upper floors
47 Redcliffe School. This is a private fee paying school for children aged 2.5 to 11. The ‘pre prep’ school is in this building. It was founded in 1948 by Lady Dorothy May Edwards but from 1973 has been managed by the Redcliffe School Trust Ltd
94 This was the Convent of St. Elizabeth, the base of the English Order of St Elizabeth of Hungary which undertook mission work among the poor. The sisters observed a fruitarian diet, and were committed to absolute poverty, owning no property or invested funds. They called themselves Sparrows and wore grey habits. They remained there until 1971. It is now used by the St.Mungo Charity
Redcliffe School is a private fee paying school for children girls aged 2.5 to 11. The ‘pre-prep’ is here
Garden. Before 1928 the garden was owned by R G Gunter, and was managed by an Agent with voluntary subscriptions from occupiers and others. It has a square lawn, with a shrubbery and trees round the border. There is a recreation ground, which is fenced off and inside it a privet hedge and a formal path layout, with beds set in the lawn, seating and plane trees.
Earls Court Station, Warwick Road frontage. The station was extended to Warwick Road in 1937 and extended in the 1960s-70s with a glass rotunda above the entrance to house the station's operation room. There is a circular booking hall to Warwick Road with an entrance of brown brick. There is a separate escalator shaft leading into the Earl's Court Exhibition Centre, with surviving bronze uplighters. The Earl's Court train crew depot is in this part of the station and includes booking-on point, mess room and canteen facilities.
Earls Court Exhibition Hall. This stood on a piece of land isolated between railway lines which was used as a show ground in the late 1880s. In 1895 Imre Kiralfy put on the 'Empire of India Exhibition' and this included the ‘Great Wheel’ – a Ferris wheel and Wild West shows were mounted. Kiralfy built Earl's Court like the 1893 Chicago White City. In the Great War more than 100,000 Belgian refugees were encamped here .In 1935 new owners decided to built a show centre bigger than Olympia designed by architect C. Howard Crane. It opened in 1937 and soon after the first Motor Show was held there. This building was later known as Earl's Court One and when built was the largest reinforced concrete building in Europe. By the Second World War it was in financial trouble but it was requisitioned by the Government. Earls Court Two was added in 1991 and demolished in 2015. Earls Court hosted both the Motor Show and the Ideal Home Exhibition. From 1950 to 1999 it was used for the Royal Tournament. There were other exhibitions like the British Industries Fair, the Dairy Show, the International Motor Exhibition, the International Commercial Motor Transport Exhibition and the Bicycle and Motorcycle Show. The building was used to house boxing and other sporting contests, as well as music and variety shows for which there is a seating capacity of approximately 20,000. In the main hall was a pool area, used for the London Boat Show. The floor was supported on hydraulic jacks so that it could be lowered and flooded. It took four days to fill and to empty. From 2000 onwards other exhibition centres opened and the owners of Earls Court and Olympia, Capco, made plans for demolition and the centre is now gone.
St Cuthbert with St.Mathias Sure Start Centre.
St Cuthbert with St.Mathias Primary school. A small choir school for boys was open as a day school in connection with St.Mathias Church in 1874.. Two schools, infant and primary, were built. Towards the end of the 19th as houses were built on the surrounding fields a new school building needed and opened in 1899. A new wing was added in 1977.
St. Matthias Church. This was a High Anglican Church built in 1869-72. The church was damaged in Second World War bombing and never reopened. It was demolished in 1958 and became the site of the school caretaker’s bungalow and garden, built in 1962
British History Online. Kensington. Web site
Clarke. In our grandmother’s footsteps
Clunn. The Face of London
Courtfield Gardens. Web site
Day. London underground
Earls Court Square Residents Association. Web site
Earth Regeneration Centre. Web site
Forgotten Buildings. Web site
Friends of Brompton Cemetery. Web site
Hasker. The place which is called Fulanhan
Hillman & Trench. London Under London
Historic England. Web site
HTB. Web Site
Library Time Machine. Web site
London Gardens Online. Web site
London Railway Record
London’s Lost Rivers. Website
Lost Hospitals of London. Web site
Mapping of Sculpture. Web site
Nairn. Nairn’s London
Open Garden Squares Weekend. Web site
Our History. Web site
Pastscape. Web site
Pevsner and Cherry. North West London
Pub History. Web site
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Web site
St.Cuthbert’s Church. Web site
St.Philip, Earls Court Road. Web site
Tames. Earls Court and Brompton Past
Theatres Trust. Web site
Wikipedia. As appropriate