El Escorial started off as a small town (about 100 souls) in the Community and Land of Segovia, through the administrative division of Casarrubios del Monte.
During the early building work on the Monastery, Philip II would stay at La Casa del Cura Vicario (the Vicarage) and the Monastery of Prestado. The few existing houses took in the clergy and the administrative staff and the builders working on the Monastery. In view of the constant flow of workers and the provisions needed the town grew.
Sponsored by the monarch in honour of El Escorial, architect Francisco de Mora built the Church of San Bernabé (Heritage of Cultural Interest) in the Herrera style on the grounds of a previous church.
In la Granjilla, formerly called La Fresneda (Heritage of Cultural Interest), Philip II ordered the construction of a small palace for him and the monks of the Order of St Jerome to stay at. The Spanish monarchy enjoyed this space until the Church lands were sold in the 19th century.
In the late 18th century, the Casita del Príncipe (the Prince’s Lodge) was built between El Escorial and San Lorenzo de Escorial for the son of Charles III, who would later become King Charles IV. This space also enjoys the World Heritage status given to the Monastery and Royal Site of El Escorial.