In 1828 George Randell’s lease on land alongside the Fleet River expired. He made bricks and tiles, and as the drawing below shows the surrounding area was still countryside. Randell was required to fill in the workings but apparently did a somewhat skimpy job and it was only in 1839 that John Booth was able to advise William Lloyd Baker that building could safely begin. Granville Square was part of the Lloyd Baker Estate and named after Granville Sharp, a relative.
The housing was quite austere and as time passed the square deteriorated. By 1970 the buildings had been acquired by Islington Borough Council and converted to flats. Many houses had to be rebuilt or repaired because of subsidence.
This square is unusual because of the missing church. The church of St Philip was built in 1831-32 by Edward Buckton Lamb, who built in the Gothic style, and demolished in 1938. (His monogram on St Stephen Aldwark.)
The steps down from Granville Square to the Fleet Valley were the steps in Arnold Bennett‘s novel Riceyman Steps. The steps go down to Gwynne Place, named after Nell Gwynne who apparently had a country mansion in this area, the site of the Bagnigge Wells. The Fleet has been described as the ‘river of wells‘ and Black Mary’s Hole was in this vicinity – I can’t quite pin it down today, but the map of 1814 (Mapco) gives a good indication.
You may be interested in
Granville Square A Walk with Arnold Bennett’s Book The River of Wells – interesting writing by Chesca Potter, who seems to have disappeared
Lost Bagnigge – excellent post with photographs and maps