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Earls Court was mostly farmland in the 18th century. Owned by the Gunter Estate, the area north of Old Brompton Rd was used for running a market garden business. During the first half of the 19th century, James Gunter built a small number of houses on the western border of the estate. Villas were added later at the corner of Earls Court Road and just south of Old Brompton Road. In the 1860s, development picked up under the ownership of Robert Gunter II. Building commenced with the intention of creating an exclusive suburb of large, terraced Victorian houses surrounding the original Georgian cottages. The Gunters owned the estate until 2002 when it was sold to an investment group. The late 20th century saw a number of changes in Earls Court. Many of the Australians and New Zealanders responsible for the colloquial "Kangaroo Court" nickname moved out. Soho overtook Earls Court as the centre of London's gay nightlife and some of the property values in the area began to equal those of its richer neighbour, South Kensington. It's hard to make generalisations about the housing in Earls Court, because the conditions vary greatly, even within a block. It has undergone a transformation in more recent years, with two and three star hotels being converted into residential flats. If only by virtue of the Earls Court Exhibition Centre, this a part of London that will stay busy and always provide food and accommodation. SW5 is acquiring a more stable population attracted to the many and varied outlets largely based on Earls Court Road and Old Brompton Roa. Italian, French, Japanese, Thai, Indian, Chinese & Philippino cuisines dot the landscape. SW5 has been called a mini-United Nations and the enduring reputation of its Australian ties remains in the first pub colonised by travellers from Down Under, the Prince of Teck, on Earls Court Road. Transport connections are plentiful. The main Tube station is Earls Court, quite unlike other Tube stations and recently renovated to include a new glass roof. The Piccadilly Line provides direct transport to Heathrow Airport & the 5-way District Line provides access to all other parts of London. West Brompton is SW5's other Tube station, on the Earls Court to Wimbledon Line. It is also an Overground station providing direct access to Gatwick Airport and the City, via Clapham Junction, only two stops away across the Thames.
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