St Giles

Suburb, existing until now

 HOME  ·  ARTICLE  MAP  STREETS  BLOG  CONTACT 
54.226.102.115 
MAPPING YEAR:1750180018301860190019302019Fullscreen map
Suburb · St Giles · WC2H ·
APRIL
6
2014

St Giles is a district of London, at the southern tip of the London Borough of Camden.

Beer Street and Gin Lane are two prints issued in 1751 by English artist William Hogarth in support of what would become the Gin Act. They depicted scenes from St Giles - near present day Holborn in London.
Credit: William Hogarth
There has been a church at St Giles since Saxon times, located beside a major highway. The hospital of St Giles, recorded c. 1120 as Hospitali Sancti Egidii extra Londonium was founded, together with a monastery and a chapel, by Queen Matilda, wife of Henry I. St Giles (c. 650 – c. 710) was the patron saint of lepers and the hospital was home to a leper colony, the site chosen for its surrounding fields and marshes separating contagion from nearby London.

A village grew up to cater to the brethren and patients. The crossroads which is now St Giles Circus, where Oxford Street, Charing Cross Road, Tottenham Court Road and New Oxford St meet, was the site of a gallows until the fifteenth century. Grape Street, in the heart of the St Giles district, runs beside the site of the hospital's vineyard.

The monastery was dissolved during the Reformation and a parish church created from the chapel. The hospital continued to care for lepers until the mid sixteenth century, when the disease abated and the hospital instead began to care for indigents. The parish was known as St Giles in the Fields and it is recorded in 1563 as Seynt Gyles in the Field.

The first post-Catholic parish church was built in 1631 and from the mid-seventeenth century church wardens note "a great influx of poor people into this parish".

The 1665 Great Plague started in St Giles and the first victims were buried in the St Giles churchyard. By September 1665, 8000 people were dying a week in London. By the end of the plague year there were 3216 listed plague deaths in St Giles parish, which had fewer than 2000 households. After the Restoration, the area was populated by Huguenot refugees who had fled persecution and established themselves as tradesmen and artisans, particularly in weaving and the silk trade.

The southern area of the parish, around present day Shaftesbury Avenue, was a wasteland named Cock and Pye Fields. Houses were not built there until 1666, after the Great Fire, and not fully developed until 1693, becoming known as Seven Dials. Thomas Neale built much of the area, giving his name to Neal Street and Neal's Yard. St Giles and Seven Dials became known for their astrologers and alchemists, an association which lasts to this day. The village of St Giles stood on the main road from Holborn to Tyburn, a place of local execution. Convicted criminals were often allowed, in tradition, to stop at St Giles en route to Tyburn for a final drink - a St Giles Bowl - before hanging.

The ancient parish of St Giles in the Fields formed part of the Ossulstone hundred of Middlesex. The parish of St George Bloomsbury was split off in 1731, but the parishes were combined for civil purposes in 1774 and used for the administration of the Poor Law after the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834.

As London grew in the 18th and 19th centuries, so did the parish's population, rising to 30 000 by 1831. The Rookery stood between the church and Great Russell Street, and Seven Dials near where Centre Point stands today, now home to the Centrepoint homeless charity. It was of one of the worst slums within Britain, a site of overcrowding and squalor, a semi-derelict warren. From Georgian affluence in the 18th century, the area declined rapidly, as houses were divided up, many families sharing a single room. Irish Catholic immigrants seeking to escape desperate poverty took up residence and the slum was nicknamed 'Little Ireland' or 'The Holy Land'. The expression "a St Giles cellar" passed into common parlance, describing the worst conditions of poverty. Open sewers often ran through rooms and cesspits were left untended. Residents complained to the Times in 1849 : "We live in muck and filth. We aint got no priviz, no dust bins, no drains, no water-splies, and no drain or suer in the hole place." The rookery was a maze of gin shops, prostitutes' hovels and secret alleyways that police had little of hope navigating. William Hogarth, Thomas Rowlandson and Gustav Dore, among others, have drawn the area, novelists Henry Fielding and Charles Dickens have written about it extensively. Peter Ackroyd writes "The Rookeries embodied the worst living conditions in all of London's history; this was the lowest point which human beings could reach".

From the 1830s to the 1870s plans were developed to demolish the slum as part of London wide clearances for improved transport routes, sanitation and the expansion of the railways. New Oxford Street was driven through the area to join the areas of Oxford Street and Holborn. The Rookery dwellers were not re-housed by the authorities. 5000 were evicted and many just moved into near by slums, such Devil's Acre and Church Lane making those more overcrowded still. The unchanging character of the area, failing investment schemes and inability to sell new properties ensured that plans for wholesale clearance were stymied until the end of the century.

Upon the creation of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855 the combined parishes became the St Giles District and were transferred to the County of London in 1889.

The local government of London was reorganised in 1900 and St Giles became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Holborn.

The Central London Railway opened Tottenham Court Tube Station, between the Church of St Giles in the Fields and St Giles Circus on 30 July 1900. Tottenham Court Road underwent improvements in the early 1930s to replace lifts with escalators.

In 2009, Transport for London began a major reconstruction of large parts of the station. Much of the St Giles area alongside St Giles High Street was cleared to make way for the new development including Crossrail expansion.

Since 1965. St Giles has been part of the London Borough of Camden.

xxx

Beer Street and Gin Lane are two prints issued in 1751 by English artist William Hogarth in support of what would become the Gin Act. They depicted scenes from St Giles - near present day Holborn in London.
William Hogarth

Citations and sources

Gillian Bebbington's 1972 work on street name derivations
The free encyclopedia

Links and further reading

Facebook Page
Facebook Page
Facebook Page
Facebook Page

THE STREETS OF ST GILES
Denmark Place, WC2H Denmark Place is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.
Denmark Street, WC2H Denmark Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.
Flichcroft Street, WC2H Flichcroft Street is a road in the WC2H postcode area
Flitcroft Street, WC2H Flitcroft Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.
Grape Street, WC2H Grape Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.
Neals Yard, WC2H Neals Yard is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.
New Compton Street, WC2H New Compton Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.
Phoenix Street, WC2H Phoenix Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.
Sounding Alley, E3 Sounding Alley is a road in the E3 postcode area
St Giles High Street, WC2H St Giles High Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.
Stacey Street, WC2H Stacey Street is one of the streets of London in the WC2H postal area.



LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 16 Jun 2019 17:30 GMT   
IP:
3:1:985
Post by LDNnews: St. Jamess Park
Sadiq Khan criticised after just 35 out of 75,000 employees take up scheme to help with childcare costs
Sadiq Khan’s record has been criticised after it emerged that only 35 parents had taken up a childcare deposit scheme out of more than 75,000 employees.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/sadiq-khan-criticised-after-just-35-out-of-75000-employees-take-up-scheme-to-help-with-childcare-a4168411.html

LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 16 Jun 2019 14:20 GMT   
IP:
3:2:985
Post by LDNnews: Piccadilly Circus
Next Chelsea manager odds: Favourites to replace Maurizio Sarri after Juventus move
Maurizio Sarri has left Chelsea - with attention now turning to who will replace the Italian at Stamford Bridge next season.

https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/next-chelsea-manager-odds-favourites-to-replace-maurizio-sarri-following-departure-to-juventus-a4167791.html

LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 16 Jun 2019 04:40 GMT   
IP:
3:3:985
Post by LDNnews: Russell Square
’Grime Gran’: Margaret Keefe, 80, plugged into music scene
Margaret Keefe’s grandson and grime artist Risky Roadz toasts their partnership with online videos.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-48643086

LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 15 Jun 2019 13:20 GMT   
IP:
3:4:985
Post by LDNnews: St. Jamess Park
Ping Pong Parlour to open at Uxbridge shopping centre

SHOPPERS at intu Uxbridge will be able to play for free when the shopping centre opens a pop-up Ping Pong Parlour from Tuesday, July 30.


https://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/17708712.ping-pong-parlour-to-open-at-uxbridge-shopping-centre/?ref=rss

LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 15 Jun 2019 04:20 GMT   
IP:
3:5:985
Post by LDNnews: Piccadilly Circus
Watch What I Can Do: Basketball film breaking down barriers
"Watch What I Can Do" was created with a female-led cast and has had almost one million online views in two weeks.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-48638656

LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 15 Jun 2019 00:20 GMT   
IP:
3:6:985
Post by LDNnews: Russell Square
Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick is reportedly the man behind Britney Spears' song Toxic
Intoxicate me now

https://www.standard.co.uk/insider/alist/supervet-noel-fitzpatrick-is-reportedly-the-man-behind-britney-spears-song-toxic-a4167856.html

LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 14 Jun 2019 23:40 GMT   
IP:
3:7:985
Post by LDNnews: Covent Garden
Plans to bring thousands more people to music festival spark complaints
Plans to attract thousands more people to a music festival have sparked a raft of complaints from neighbours.

https://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/17707511.scale-of-enfield-music-festival-sparks-complaints/?ref=rss

LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 14 Jun 2019 23:40 GMT   
IP:
3:8:985
Post by LDNnews: Charing Cross
Greenford eye expert warns over hidden danger of glaucoma

A GREENFORD eye expert is warning people to regularly get their eyes checked to identify glaucoma.


https://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/17708187.greenford-eye-expert-warns-over-hidden-danger-of-glaucoma/?ref=rss

LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 14 Jun 2019 23:40 GMT   
IP:
3:9:985
Post by LDNnews: Chancery Lane
Young man stabbed to death in Tooting as police launch murder investigation

A murder investigation has been launched after a man was stabbed to death in Tooting.


https://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/17708189.young-man-stabbed-to-death-in-tooting-as-police-launch-murder-investigation/?ref=rss

LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 14 Jun 2019 23:30 GMT   
IP:
3:10:985
Post by LDNnews: St. Jamess Park



https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/westham/west-ham-complete-24million-deal-for-pablo-fornals-as-midfielder-joins-from-villarreal-a4167246.html

LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 14 Jun 2019 05:30 GMT   
IP:
3:11:985
Post by LDNnews: Piccadilly Circus
Man stabbed and robbed at home in Hackney
A man was stabbed by a gang who broke into his house to steal watches in a terrifying raid at a property in north-east London.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/man-stabbed-and-robbed-at-home-in-hackney-a4166536.html

LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 14 Jun 2019 05:20 GMT   
IP:
3:12:985
Post by LDNnews: Russell Square
County Championship: Yorkshire rescued by rain in draw at Surrey
Yorkshire are rescued by the rain as downpours thwart Surrey’s hopes of a first win of the season on the final day at Guildford.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/48614642

LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 13 Jun 2019 14:20 GMT   
IP:
3:13:985
Post by LDNnews: Covent Garden
Four men arrested in Class A drug raid set to appear in court

A man who was arrested yesterday and charged with drug offences is due in court today following a series of dawn police raids.


https://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/17703652.ongar-man-and-three-others-arrested-in-drug-raid-in-brentwood-to-appear-basildon-magistrates-court-today/?ref=rss

LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 13 Jun 2019 14:20 GMT   
IP:
3:14:985
Post by LDNnews: Charing Cross
Police watchdog appeals for witnesses as part of probe into fatal Mitcham police car crash
The police watchdog has launched a public appeal for witnesses to last week’s fatal collision involving a police car and a 64-year-old man in Mitcham.

https://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/17704157.police-watchdog-appeals-for-witnesses-as-part-of-probe-into-fatal-mitcham-police-car-crash/?ref=rss

LDNnews
LDNnews   
Added: 13 Jun 2019 14:20 GMT   
IP:
3:15:985
Post by LDNnews: Chancery Lane
Pensioner arrested after alleged attack on Sainsbury’s staff in Barnehurst

A Sainsbury’s in Barnehurst were forced to shut up shop early last night after an irate man reportedly assaulted numerous people, including a staff member.


https://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/17704139.sainsburys-barnehurst-forced-to-close-after-reported-assault/?ref=rss

VIEW THE ST GILES AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

VIEW THE ST GILES AREA IN THE 1800s
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

VIEW THE ST GILES AREA IN THE 1830s
The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

VIEW THE ST GILES AREA IN THE 1860s
The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

VIEW THE ST GILES AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

St Giles

St Giles is a district of London, at the southern tip of the London Borough of Camden.

There has been a church at St Giles since Saxon times, located beside a major highway. The hospital of St Giles, recorded c. 1120 as Hospitali Sancti Egidii extra Londonium was founded, together with a monastery and a chapel, by Queen Matilda, wife of Henry I. St Giles (c. 650 – c. 710) was the patron saint of lepers and the hospital was home to a leper colony, the site chosen for its surrounding fields and marshes separating contagion from nearby London.

A village grew up to cater to the brethren and patients. The crossroads which is now St Giles Circus, where Oxford Street, Charing Cross Road, Tottenham Court Road and New Oxford St meet, was the site of a gallows until the fifteenth century. Grape Street, in the heart of the St Giles district, runs beside the site of the hospital's vineyard.

The monastery was dissolved during the Reformation and a parish church created from the chapel. The hospital continued to care for lepers until the mid sixteenth century, when the disease abated and the hospital instead began to care for indigents. The parish was known as St Giles in the Fields and it is recorded in 1563 as Seynt Gyles in the Field.

The first post-Catholic parish church was built in 1631 and from the mid-seventeenth century church wardens note "a great influx of poor people into this parish".

The 1665 Great Plague started in St Giles and the first victims were buried in the St Giles churchyard. By September 1665, 8000 people were dying a week in London. By the end of the plague year there were 3216 listed plague deaths in St Giles parish, which had fewer than 2000 households. After the Restoration, the area was populated by Huguenot refugees who had fled persecution and established themselves as tradesmen and artisans, particularly in weaving and the silk trade.

The southern area of the parish, around present day Shaftesbury Avenue, was a wasteland named Cock and Pye Fields. Houses were not built there until 1666, after the Great Fire, and not fully developed until 1693, becoming known as Seven Dials. Thomas Neale built much of the area, giving his name to Neal Street and Neal's Yard. St Giles and Seven Dials became known for their astrologers and alchemists, an association which lasts to this day. The village of St Giles stood on the main road from Holborn to Tyburn, a place of local execution. Convicted criminals were often allowed, in tradition, to stop at St Giles en route to Tyburn for a final drink - a St Giles Bowl - before hanging.

The ancient parish of St Giles in the Fields formed part of the Ossulstone hundred of Middlesex. The parish of St George Bloomsbury was split off in 1731, but the parishes were combined for civil purposes in 1774 and used for the administration of the Poor Law after the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834.

As London grew in the 18th and 19th centuries, so did the parish's population, rising to 30 000 by 1831. The Rookery stood between the church and Great Russell Street, and Seven Dials near where Centre Point stands today, now home to the Centrepoint homeless charity. It was of one of the worst slums within Britain, a site of overcrowding and squalor, a semi-derelict warren. From Georgian affluence in the 18th century, the area declined rapidly, as houses were divided up, many families sharing a single room. Irish Catholic immigrants seeking to escape desperate poverty took up residence and the slum was nicknamed 'Little Ireland' or 'The Holy Land'. The expression "a St Giles cellar" passed into common parlance, describing the worst conditions of poverty. Open sewers often ran through rooms and cesspits were left untended. Residents complained to the Times in 1849 : "We live in muck and filth. We aint got no priviz, no dust bins, no drains, no water-splies, and no drain or suer in the hole place." The rookery was a maze of gin shops, prostitutes' hovels and secret alleyways that police had little of hope navigating. William Hogarth, Thomas Rowlandson and Gustav Dore, among others, have drawn the area, novelists Henry Fielding and Charles Dickens have written about it extensively. Peter Ackroyd writes "The Rookeries embodied the worst living conditions in all of London's history; this was the lowest point which human beings could reach".

From the 1830s to the 1870s plans were developed to demolish the slum as part of London wide clearances for improved transport routes, sanitation and the expansion of the railways. New Oxford Street was driven through the area to join the areas of Oxford Street and Holborn. The Rookery dwellers were not re-housed by the authorities. 5000 were evicted and many just moved into near by slums, such Devil's Acre and Church Lane making those more overcrowded still. The unchanging character of the area, failing investment schemes and inability to sell new properties ensured that plans for wholesale clearance were stymied until the end of the century.

Upon the creation of the Metropolitan Board of Works in 1855 the combined parishes became the St Giles District and were transferred to the County of London in 1889.

The local government of London was reorganised in 1900 and St Giles became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Holborn.

The Central London Railway opened Tottenham Court Tube Station, between the Church of St Giles in the Fields and St Giles Circus on 30 July 1900. Tottenham Court Road underwent improvements in the early 1930s to replace lifts with escalators.

In 2009, Transport for London began a major reconstruction of large parts of the station. Much of the St Giles area alongside St Giles High Street was cleared to make way for the new development including Crossrail expansion.

Since 1965. St Giles has been part of the London Borough of Camden.
Print-friendly version of this page

Maps


Cruchley's New Plan of London (1848) FREE DOWNLOAD
Cruchley's New Plan of London Shewing all the new and intended improvements to the Present Time. - Cruchley's Superior Map of London, with references to upwards of 500 Streets, Squares, Public Places & C. improved to 1848: with a compendium of all Place of Public Amusements also shewing the Railways & Stations.
G. F. Cruchley

Cary's New And Accurate Plan of London and Westminster (1818) FREE DOWNLOAD
Cary's map provides a detailed view of London. With print date of 1 January 1818, Cary's map has 27 panels arranged in 3 rows of 9 panels, each measuring approximately 6 1/2 by 10 5/8 inches. The complete map measures 32 1/8 by 59 1/2 inches. Digitising this map has involved aligning the panels into one contiguous map.
John Cary

John Rocque Map of London (1762) FREE DOWNLOAD
John Rocque (c. 1709–1762) was a surveyor, cartographer, engraver, map-seller and the son of Huguenot émigrés. Roque is now mainly remembered for his maps of London. This map dates from the second edition produced in 1762. London and his other maps brought him an appointment as cartographer to the Prince of Wales in 1751. His widow continued the business after his death. The map covers central London at a reduced level of detail compared with his 1745-6 map.
John Rocque, The Strand, London

Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1843) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured.
Chapman and Hall, London

Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1836) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured. Insets: A view of the Tower from London Bridge -- A view of London from Copenhagen Fields. Includes views of facades of 25 structures "A comparison of the principal buildings of London."
Chapman and Hall, London

Environs of London (1832) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured. Relief shown by hachures. A circle shows "Extent of the twopenny post delivery."
Chapman and Hall, London

London Underground Map (1921).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1921.
London Transport

The Environs of London (1865).  FREE DOWNLOAD
Prime meridian replaced with "Miles from the General Post Office." Relief shown by hachures. Map printed in black and white.
Published By J. H. Colton. No. 172 William St. New York

London Underground Map (1908).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1908.
London Transport

Ordnance Survey of the London region (1939) FREE DOWNLOAD
Ordnance Survey colour map of the environs of London 1:10,560 scale
Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright 1939.

Outer London (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Outer London shown in red, City of London in yellow. Relief shown by hachures.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)
1 



COPYRIGHT TERMS:
Unless a source is explicitedly stated, text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Articles may be a remixes of various Wikipedia articles plus work by the website authors - original Wikipedia source can generally be accessed under the same name as the main title. This does not affect its Creative Commons attribution.

Maps upon this website are in the public domain because they are mechanical scans of public domain originals, or - from the available evidence - are so similar to such a scan or photocopy that no copyright protection can be expected to arise. The originals themselves are in public domain for the following reason:
Public domain Maps used are in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.
This file has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighbouring rights.

This tag is designed for use where there may be a need to assert that any enhancements (eg brightness, contrast, colour-matching, sharpening) are in themselves insufficiently creative to generate a new copyright. It can be used where it is unknown whether any enhancements have been made, as well as when the enhancements are clear but insufficient. For usage, see Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag.