Dirty Old London  published by
Yale University Press (October 2014)

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Lloyd Baker Land

The sign below is one of my favourites in London ...

It nestles inconspicuously in the doorway of a peculiar tacked-on property in Lloyd Baker Street, Islington (carefully marked for you below), sadly no longer a chemist and druggist's ...

The great thing about the estate, apart from generally lovely early-19C buildings (it was laid out in the 1820s and 1830s in the main), is the fact that it sits on a relatively steep hill, rolling down to the Fleet Valley (aka King's Cross Road). Any street on a slope has immediate charm. Wharton Street contains some of the grander houses, although still not terribly large ...

Lloyd Baker Street has smaller houses, with very cute first floor windows ...

There's a particularly nice alleyway off Lloyd Baker Square (although its marks where the 20C interrupts the original housing with a council estate, and may be 20C in origin) ...

and there's the odd architectural quirk ...

... but I can't really do the area justice (check out nearby Percy Circus, for instance, which boasts a 'Lenin lived here' plaque). I recommend you explore it for yourself ...

And while you're at it, look for this corner house in Granville Square. Can you spot what's amiss?

Something wrong with that, surely? Lovecraftian geometry in Islington.


Thanks to Suzanne for the link to British History Online (always worth checking) which shows the original estate layout. As suspected, the alley shown above did not exist - looks like it was a passage leading to a back yard.

For considerable detail about the estate, see the relevant page - here.


  1. The earliest plan to survive is the one sent to the Commissioners of Sewers, (ref. 40) doubtless the same as the 'general plan for building on your estate' which Booth sent to Lloyd Baker in September 1819 along with 'elevations of the several classes of houses'. (ref. 41) The layout is not greatly different from what exists today (Ills 346, 348):
    http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=119446 Was that how you found it?

    1. Cheers - that plan's really useful ... shows that the alley was formerly leading to a backyard ... will add to blog.

  2. Interesting, nice photos. I was in the same area during April and will also be posting, with a link to your site.

  3. The peculiar tacked-on house with the little sign is mine. I'm pleased you like it.