St Giles Cripplegate - The Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks

St Giles Cripplegate

• St Giles Cripplegate is located within the modern Barbican complex. When built it stood outside the city wall, as the name implies it was near a ‘crepel’ gate, i.e. an underground passage in a fortification. The church is dedicated to St Giles, patron saint of beggars and cripples. It was one of the few medieval churches left in the City of London, having survived the Great Fire of 1666.

• There was a Saxon church on the site in the 11th century but by 1090 it had been replaced by a Norman one. In 1394 it was rebuilt in the perpendicular gothic style. The stone tower was added in 1682.

• The church has been badly damaged by fire on three occasions: In 1545, “xii day of September at iiii of cloke in the mornynge was sent Gylles church at Creppyl gatte burnyd, alle hole save the walles, stepull, belles and alle, and how it came God knoweth” (From the Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London). It burnt again in 1897 and after an air raid during the Second World War on the night of 24 August 1940. German bombs completely gutted the church but it was restored using the plans of the reconstruction of 1545. A new ring of twelve bells was cast by Mears and Stainbank in 1954, and this was augmented with a sharp second bell cast in 2006 by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

• The church was designated a Grade I listed building on 4 January 1950. • Some notable people associated with the church:

• John Foxe, author of the Book of Martyrs was buried in the church, 1587 • Sir Martin Frobisher, captain who fought against the Spanish Armada, was buried in the church, 1594

• Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England during the Commonwealth, married in the church, 1620

• John Milton, author of Paradise Lost, buried in the church, 1674

• John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's Progress, attended the church

• Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe, died in the parish, 1731


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