Bradshaw’s Hand Book to London, Day 8, Squares in Clerkenwell, (no.53)

Map showing Spa Fields, 1801
Map showing Spa Fields, 1801

The area to the north of the Chapel, Spa Fields, was open countryside in 1790s, and still in 1801. Merlin’s Cave, at the top of the hill, was a pub.

Bagnigge Wells Road to Merlin's Cave at the top of the hill. To the left, the Spa Fields Cake House
Spa Fields in the 1790s: a recreation of 1857 by Charles Matthews, looking east from Bagnigge Wells Road to Merlin’s Cave at the top of the hill. To the left, the Spa Fields Cake House

The land is this area was privately owned and when leases expired in the late 1700s, and with the expansion of London’s population, the time was ripe for developing new housing.

The Northampton family started building c.1808 around Northampton Square, and Wilmington Square (1819-40). The Lloyd Baker estate developed Claremont Square (1815-28), Lloyd Square (1820-40), Percy Circus 1841-53) and Granville Square (1839). Myddelton Square was developed by the New River Company (1824-36). Mr Bradshaw and I have visited each square during the past weeks, sometimes twice, and will be posting over the next days.

Spencer Compton, 2nd Marquess of Northampton (1790-1851)
Spencer Compton, 2nd Marquess of Northampton (1790-1851)

You may be interested in 
Mapco for historic maps of London
The development of Spa Fields

 

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