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Earl's Court, London

3.6




Earls Court Exhibition Centre was a major international exhibition and events venue just west of central London. At its peak it is said to have generated a £2 billion turnover for the economy. It replaced exhibition and entertainment grounds, originally opened in 1887, with an art moderne structure built between 1935 and 1937 by specialist American architect C. Howard Crane. With the active support of London Mayor Boris Johnson, in an attempt to create Europe's "largest regeneration scheme", its proposed heritage listing was refused after it was acquired by developers, who promptly in 2008 applied for and were granted a Certificate of Immunity from Listing by English Heritage, and its demolition was duly completed in 2017. The area has since returned to its former state of "waste ground" only with an adjacent devastated Green corridor.


Located in Earl's Court but straddling the boundary between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, it was the largest such venue within the capital served by two London Underground stations—one of them, Earl's Court tube station, being specially adapted with a tunnel for show visitors, and in latter years with a direct link to Heathrow Airport. The founder of the entertainment grounds was Leeds entrepreneur John R. Whitley and the first attraction headlined performances by Buffalo Bill Cody as part of the American Show visited by Queen Victoria and subsequently by members of the Royal Household. This was followed by numerous other exhibitions representing countries such as Canada, France and India.


Earls Court was widely known for serving as London's and the country's premier exhibition venue for many decades, hosting the Royal Smithfield Show, Royal Tournament, the British International Motor Show, London Boat Show, the Ideal Home Show, Billy Graham rallies, the Brit Awards (until 2010), Crufts and other events such as large scale opera productions and pop concerts in addition to hundreds of trade shows, such as the London Book Fair. It was also used as one of the venues for both the 1948 and 2012 Olympic Games.
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  • This is a very good and central Tube station in Kensington. The main advantage of the station is it being part of the Piccadilly line. There are numerous restaurants and shops next to the station.  more »
  • Earl's Court in the West End is extremely central to all parts of London and an area I've been staying in since 2005. I like the easy connection from the Piccadilly and Central Line Tubes as well...  more »

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