John Hunter (1728-1793), the celebrated surgeon, purchased Earl's Court House in 1764 and lived here until his death. As well as conducting anatomical and other experiments, he kept an extensive menagerie in the grounds. In this watercolour live eagles, chained to rocks, can be seen. More exotic animals were kept in the grounds. Locals believed he kept lions in a den but it was stabling for his buffalos. Subsequent residents included Lord Byron's lawyer and guardian and the Earl of Albermarle. Finally it became a private asylum for young ladies suffering from ‘nervous’ disorders.
The Gunter family bought the house in 1829. They owned most of the land in the area and were responsible for its re-development. Earl's Court House was demolished in 1886.
Copyright: the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Libraries (RBKC Libraries)
Location of original: SB02 RP/2534
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