In the mid-19th century Earlsdon was a hub of activity for the rising watch-making trade. Even as this industry began to decline, Earlsdon continued to grow, and was incorporated into the city of Coventry in 1890. The watch-making trade is represented by the clock on the roundabout at the bottom of the high street, where Earlsdon Avenue North and South join.
In 1897 the opening of Albany Road, named after HRH Princess Helena, Duchess of Albany, who visited Coventry in November the following year, allowed for far greater access to and from the rest of the city and development in Earlsdon quickly increased. By 1918 the area was fully developed as it is today but has seen some redevelopment in recent years.
Today, Earlsdon is a large high-density suburban residential area. Many academics and students from both Coventry University and the University of Warwick also live in the area.
In August 2006 following a torrential downpour of rain, the main street of Earlsdon suffered from serious flooding. Many businesses were affected, and some were forced to close for a time.