Domesday Book Both, Kensington and Chelsea originated as Saxon settlements. The origins of the name Chelsea are uncertain. One theory is that the name comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word for gravel bank and as Chelsea lies on gravel this does seem plausible. Kensington is generally thought to be derived from ‘Cynesige’s farm'.
Chelsea is the first to appear in historical documents. It is mentioned in an eighth century charter but Kensington and Chelsea both show up in the Domesday Book (1086). Kensington is described as one of the manors granted to an Aubrey de Vere, while Chelsea was owned by one Edward of Salisbury.
In subsequent centuries, the Manor of Chelsea passed through various hands but the de Vere family, remained Lords of the Manor of Kensington until the 16th century. The elevation of the De Veres to the Earldom of Oxford in 1155 led people to begin referring to the Manor’s court house as the Earl’s Court. The court house stood in the heart of the area which now carries its name. Earl’s Court is perhaps best known today for its international exhibition centre and concert venue. The art deco exhibition centre opened in 1937. It stands on the site of the Earl’s Court Exhibition Ground, which from 1887 until the Great War, hosted a string of spectacular events including Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show.