#StationStories - the Earl's Court edition
Welcome to the first instalment of our #StationStories series! Each month we’ll be focusing on a new tube station, giving you all you need to know about some of London’s most celebrated Underground stations and the areas they inhabit.
First to jump on board is Earl’s Court Station, marking the start of our journey on the Piccadilly Line.
Image credit: Bikeworldtravel / Shutterstock.com
Founded: 30th October 1871
Lines: Piccadilly and District
Bio: On 12th April 1869, the District Line brought tracks through Earls Court as part of a south-westward extension from its station at Gloucester Road to West Brompton. It wasn’t until 30th October 1871, though, that Earl’s Court station opened. In 1872 the District line (which was then known as the DR) opened up the Olympia extension, followed by the “Outer Circle,” Hammersmith & City and Piccadilly lines.
Earls Court is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in central London, bordering the sub-districts of South Kensington to the east, West Kensington to the west, Chelsea to the south and Kensington to the north. It is home to Earls Court Exhibition Centre, one of the country's largest indoor arenas and a popular concert venue.
Image credit: Dutourdumonde Photography / Shutterstock.com
It’s hard to imagine now, but Earls Court was once a rural area covered with green fields and market gardens. The construction of the Metropolitan District Railway station in 1865-69 was a catalyst for development and in the quarter century after 1867, Earls Court was transformed into a densely populated suburb with 1,200 houses and two churches.
Did you know?
- Earl’s Court Station is spelt with an apostrophe, but Earls Court the area is generally spelt without.
- The first London Underground escalators were installed at Earl’s Court Tube Station in 1911.
- Earls Court received international attention in 1977 when The Stranglers released a song called Hanging Around about the area’s gay scene.
- A TARDIS, (Dr Who’s preferred mode of transport) can be found outside Earl’s Court station, or at least an old police call box can.
- Following WWII, the Polish government, in exile, was stationed here and brought with it a number of Polish immigrants, leading to Earls Court Road being dubbed 'The Danzig Corridor'.
- During the late 1960s a large transient population of Australia and New Zealand travellers began to use Earls Court as a UK hub and over time it gained the name 'Kangaroo Valley'.
- After the devastation of the Second World War, local councils set about building social housing on the bombsites that surrounded Earls Court.
- Princess Diana lived in a house in Earls Court that was bought by her parents for £50,000. She lived there from 1979 to 1981 and regularly returned to the area to visit the Earls Court gym.
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#StationStories - A celebration of the iconic London Underground and its surrounds