ST. GILES CRIPPLEGATE
City of London
The church in the Barbican Centre. This is one of the larger City churches and once stood abutting the City Wall and Barbican. The church dates to the 15th Century and, being on the edge of the area of the Great Fire, escaped unscathed and thus is one of those very few City churches pre-dating the 1670s. It remained in good condition whilst the City defences around it crumbled away and most of the remnants of the Barbican itself were swept away by the Victorians.
During the Victorian period the church was updated and renovated extensively, giving it a look like a parish church in rural England more than one of the Citys typical churches.
During World War II the Barbican area was decimated by carpet bombing and the interior of St. Giles was entirely gutted. This gave Godfrey Allen, the man chosen to restore the interior, free hand to restore the church to a more 15th Century appearance during the 1950s.
John Milton was buried in St. Giles Church, and although his original monument is gone, a stone in the chancel marks his burial place. Oliver Cromwell was married here. John Bunyan and Daniel Defoe are also both associated with St. Giles.
Today the Church stands amid the brutalist modern architecture of the Barbican Centre and is one of the most rewarding of the City Churches for the casual visitor.
This is the "St Giles" in the Oranges and Lemons Rhyme.
Photo - Andrew J. Müller
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