Bradshaw’s Hand Book to London, Lloyd Square (no.58)

Lloyd Square was built between 1820-40, on a hillside which slopes steeply downhill to the Fleet River valley in King’s Cross Road (Bagnigge Wells Road). In Mediaeval times the land was two fields, Black Mary’s Field and Robin Hood’s Field, which belonged to the Priory of St John in Clerkenwell. By the 1800s the Rev William Baker owned the land and together with his son, Thomas Lloyd Baker, built housing. The estate remained in the family until 1975.

Lloyd Baker Estate, 1843
Lloyd Baker Estate, 1843

The houses were designed by John Booth (the surveyor to the Lloyd Baker Estate and a previous Master of the Drapers Company) and his son William Joseph Booth (the surveyor of the Drapers Company from 1822). Building started in 1820 and was completed by 1840. (The original design of the houses is at the top of this post, British History Online.)

The square was originally a smaller enclosure but in 1834 it was enlarged and enclosed with railings which are still in place. The gardens remain for the private use of the residents who are also responsible for its maintenance.

Cumberland Gardens, a narrow walkway off Lloyd Square and leading to short street is a magical, hidden enclosure in spring, with the most beautiful wisteria.

On the east side of the square is the building below, built as a House of Retreat and originally with a chapel hidden inside the building. The Society of the Sisters of Bethany left the building in 1962 and the chapel no longer exists.

The House of the Sisters of Bethany

Bethany House chapel
Bethany House chapel

You may be interested in
Victorian London Snapshots
Lloyd Baker Square
Lloyd Square Gardens
Open Square Gardens
The history of Lloyd Square


  1. Thank you for your kind comment. What a lovely area in which to jog! I couldn’t do the hill, which is considerable. London is just so exciting – there is always a story and of course it has been heavily researched, so plenty on the internet. Thank you for reading – much appreciated.


  2. Some beautiful captures of this architectural gem. You put me to shame with your knowledeable posts – this is my hill challenge. Try to jog it to the top but usually out of puff just beyond Cumberland gardens exit.


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