"City Churches: St Giles' Cripplegate" Historical Tip by yooperprof

Historical, London: 219 reviews and 548 photos

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by yooperprof
 
 

Favorite thing: St. Giles's Cripplegate was one of the few City churches to make it through the Great Fire of 1666, but it was not so fortunate in the twentieth century. This medieval church which has been heavily "restored" and basically re-created - first by the Victorians in the 1800s, then by modern preservationists in the late twentieth century. (St. Giles was heavily damaged by bombing during World War II.) The church is a survivor - and its presence next to the Barbican Tower Blocks is suggestive of the way in which London itself has its own geology, layers of the past piling upon one another much like the strata of metamorphic rocks.

Incidentally, the "Cripplegate" in its name has nothing to do with people on crutches. A medieval word, "creple," refers to an underground passage beneath a fortified wall. A street - or "gate" - ran next to this tunnel, hence "creplegate".

More of interest: the great poet John Milton is buried here, his resting place marked by a stone inside the church. Also buried here is the Elizabethan explorer Sir Martin Frobisher.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 26, 2004
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yooperprof

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