London Living: “Brickbats and tiles” say the bells of St Giles’

St Giles-without-Cripplegate is tucked away on a fairly ugly Estate, amongst some awful Brutalist buildings. Now I know that the Brutalism style was partially a reaction to the World Wars, and a need for something different, something that symbolised the strength and modernity of a new Europe, with cheaper building materials, but still, Urgh.

St Giles makes for a nice relief.

“When built it stood without (that is, outside) the city wall, near the Cripplegate. The church is dedicated to St Giles, patron saint of beggars and cripples. It is one of the few medieval churches left in the City of London, having survived the Great Fire of 1666.”

It’s got quite an interesting history and is the resting place of John Milton (amongst others!)

Nearby are some incredibly modern buildings…


And a slice of the Roman City Wall. You can’t get away from history in the centre of London!


Postscript: Having done much better research than me, explains;
The “Brickbats and Tiles” refers to the bricks and tiles used by nearby
builders. The reference to bricks is interesting as bricks were introduced to
London by Judge Popham, who resided over the trial of Guy Fawkes immortalised in
Nursery Rhyme
Remember, Remember the 5th November

“Oranges and Lemons” say the bells of St Clement’s

“Bull’s eyes and targets” say the bells of St Margaret’s.

“Pokers and tongs” say the bells of St John’s.

“Pancakes and fritters” say the bells of St Peter’s.

“Two sticks and an apple” say the bells of Whitechapel.

“Old Father Baldpate” say the slow bells of Aldgate.

“Maids in white aprons ” say the bells of St Katharine’s.

“Brickbats and tiles” say the bells of St Giles’.

“Kettles and pans” say the bells of St Anne’s.

“You owe me five farthings” say the bells of St Martin’s.

“When will you pay me?” say the bells of Old Bailey.

“When I grow rich” say the bells of Shoreditch.

“Pray when will that be?” say the bells of Stepney.

“I’m sure I don’t know” says the great bell of

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,

Chip chop, chip chop, the last man’s dead.

I just had to take a photo of the tiles…

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