St. Giles Cripplegate
St. Giles Cripplegate
4.5
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: City of London
From its ancient past as a Roman trading outpost to its 21st century status as the wealthiest square mile in the world, the financial district known simply as “The City” is one of London's most historic and fascinating neighborhoods. Here high rise office towers such as Norman Foster’s Gherkin mingle with Roman ruins and architectural marvels from virtually every era in between, including Christopher Wren's glorious St.Paul's Cathedral, and John Soane's dauntingly classicist Bank of England. This neighborhood is also home to some of the finest restaurants and plushest hotels in Europe, in addition to an assortment of watering holes, upscale shops, and Tube stations. During the week, the City is abuzz with white collar workers going about their business; the weekend sees this area turn into a quiet haven for sightseers.
How to get there
  • Moorgate • 4 min walk
  • Barbican • 5 min walk
Reach out directly

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles19 reviews
Excellent
9
Very good
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Average
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futtock21
London, UK11,627 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Solo
The trouble with being part of the Barbican estate is the risk of being incorporated into the arts complex. St. Giles Cripplegate is a church which has existed in this site since medieval times but destroyed three times in its history most recently during the Blitz since when it has been reconstructed following plans as to what it looked like in 1536. It sits on one side of an ornamental lake overlooking the Barbican Centre and the Guildhall School of Music. It comes into its own on one of the days celebrating the life and works of an individual composer during which there might be an early afternoon chamber music event in Milton Hall (part of GSM), and an orchestral concert in the evening in Barbican Hall proper with a choral concert in between at St. Giles. Thus it was yesterday for an event celebrating the life and work of Swedish ‘maverick’ (is there such a thing as a conventional Swede I ask myself?) Anders Hallberg . Problem is access to and from the venues the other side of the lake involves a climb up to a high level walkway. Nevertheless yesterday’s concert featuring the BBC Singers in works by Hallberg, late Swede Sandstrom, the dynamic and very much alive Finnish conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen and mystic Frenchman Oliver Messiaen was well worth the effort. A lot of chit-chat in Swedish from the row immediately behind me before the concert began.
Written February 23, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian T
London, UK6,782 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Solo
This is almost a bizarre sight: a beautiful medieval church sitting incongruously in the middle of 1970s development where the architecture is nothing short of brutal. The whole district, the Barbican Estate, is characterised by the monumental use of reinforced concrete. Some 2000 flats in both low and high-rise towers were built, amidst a lake with a lakeside terrace, gardens and fountains, shops, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the City of London School for Girls, the Barbican Library, and a world-renowned multi-disciplinary cultural hub that is the Barbican Centre. It’s certainly monumental in scale, very angular and geometric to the eye, unbelievably grey and soulless, very high-density, and very confusing - everything is connected by a nightmare of elevated walkways with multiple entrances and exits. And in the midsts of it all sits St Giles Church, or, to give it its official name, St Giles-without-Cripplegate. And that alone is a good reason to visit, to see this curios site in an even more curious location. In the midst of the ugliness, there is a thing of beauty.

This church has been a part of this area’s history for over 1000 years. Its foundation was a church built in stone around 1090; it was expanded in 1394 when it gained its large gothic windows; the striking brick tower was added in 1694. Even more curious is that whilst the whole area around the church was wiped out during the Second World War, the church survived, despite being hit twice during the Blitz. It was burnt out, though the tower, chancel arcade and outer walls survived.

The church was open when I visited, though there was not a soul in sight. The interior is light and airy as a result of the refit after the Blitz, and there’s many interesting artefacts. Look carefully and you will see some medieval stone seats (sedilia) and a stone basin (piscina). There’s an 18th century font, and a display area on the south wall which shows off a few of the church's best historic artefacts.

It was lovely to just sit awhile and appreciate how this edifice survived the Blitz; it’s a thing of beauty in an area that was savaged during the war and which was rebuilt in quite a savage architectural style (though it was regarded as ‘visionary’ at the time of construction.

The ‘Cripplegate’ suffix refers to one of the defended gateways into the medieval city of London. The word ‘without’ simply means ‘outside’. So ’St Giles-without-Cripplegate’ simply means that the church was outside the medieval walls of London, near the gateway known of Cripplegate. You can actually see sections of that medieval wall which was a built on Roman foundations. It certainly does not refer to lame or crippled people, as you might expect.

It’s worth seeking out. But it’s not the easiest to get to. The elevated covered walkways, with many entrances and exits, seem to lead everywhere. Once you get into the inner core of the Barbican Centre, just locate the church by the gardens and pools, and take whatever stairs you can find to get down to the forecourt of the church. Barbican and Moorgate are the closest underground stations.
Written April 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sharon C
Seneca, SC1,577 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2013 • Family
We traveled to England in September of 2013 to visit my cousin. I wanted to trace some of my first husband's family's ancestry and I knew that John Speed was buried at St. Giles Cripplegate Church. My cousin and I spent almost an hour finding the church, nestled amongst the tall buildings in the Barbican area of London. Guess what, when we got there, the door was locked. A lady sitting on a bench overheard our conversation and just so happened to have a key and she let us in. (Divine intervention!) Otherwise, we would have come all that way without being able to see the bust of John Speed and take pictures. What a beautiful church it is, having been bombed during WWII and rebuilt. It is steeped in history, having been the home to many famous local residents who were connected to St. Giles.
Written August 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

749David
New York City, NY727 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2017 • Solo
I went on an Ancestry search (my great, great-Grandparents were married here in 1871). What a wonderful oasis of history/culture right in the middle of the Barbican. It's a 900-year-old church, still working. john Milton is buried here, William Shakespeare worshipped here. You will not regret this visit.
Written March 11, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WMIM
Horsham, UK3,231 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Friends
An attractive enough church which was severely damaged by enemy bombing in World War Two but remained standing, unlike almost all other buildings in this area.
Heavily restored, it now stands in a 'sea' of concrete within the huge modernist Barbican Development. It stands over the lake from the terrace frontage of the Barbican Centre. It is a busy church in the most heavily populated area of the City of London and is usually open to the public from Monday to Friday between 11am and 4pm.
Written June 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

susanrichmond3
Barry, UK11 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Friends
They were having a book week. Very nice church. Would visit again. Ladies attending inside were very helpful.
Written December 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

paxnrth
Walla Walla, WA121 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018 • Couples
London City of old (now the financial hub of the world) was marked by a wall built by the Romans and rebuilt by subsequent rulers for 1300 years after the Romans left. There were 7 gates into London, and one was called Cripplegate. Cripple may have come from Anglo-saxon for a tunneling gate, but St. Giles church just outside of the Cripplegate was named after the patron saint of the homeless. lepers, and disabled or "cripples" so that may also explain the Cripple-gate. Built in the 1200's and rebuilt many times, most recently after the German Blitz, St, Giles Cripplegate now sits in a small plaza with the Barbican apartment complex, the City of London Museum, and remnants of the ancient city wall of London around it. A beautiful quiet place in this giant city. The parish of Cripplegate is remarkable because of the religious free thinkers it encouraged, often critical and reform minded for the state religion. John Bunyan of the Pilgrim's Progress preached here after being let out of Bedford Gaol and was buried in the nearby Bunhill Fields, a cemetery not controlled by the state Church of England. Oliver Cromwell worshiped here (noted for overthrow of the Roman Catholic Monarchy). John Milton of the epic Paradise Lost is buried in this church. Methodism from John Wesley formed in this area, and his maternal grandfather was a Non-conformist pastor of St. Giles at Cripplegate. Baptists, Ana-Baptists, Seventh-day Baptists were tolerated in this parish. Daniel Defoe, Michael Faraday, William Blake are all interred in the nearby Bunhill Fields Cemetery for Non-Conformist Christians. This church should be a temple to religious free thinking. And a reminder that the church of Christ is where the disabled should always be welcomed and the needy cared for. Also a warning against state enforced religiosity and exclusivity. (Sunday services are still held here with a small and friendly congregation.) (PS: I'm proud that my maternal great-great-Grandmother Matilda Walford was married to Henry Budden in this independent church in 1847.)
Written July 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ollie B
Gateshead, UK39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Couples
Really enjoyed visiting this church with so much history to it, though heavily rebuilt following extrensive damage in the second world war. Set in the midst of the Barbican, itself a fascinating though much more recent historic landmark, St Giles seems to host a lively church community now, with lots of activities and groups giving it a sense of on-going purpose and life, not just a building which is a museum to the past.
Written August 14, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Genesis D
Reading, UK134 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Solo
I used to live in bayswater...and eanted a short trip...someone said barbican and this very old victorian church...i esp visited this church. Coz Milton was a member of this church.n buried..I was so obsessed with paradise lost / regained and other works of this great man..so least wanted to visit this church ...which once he attended
The church is sunk and sandwiched between modern day skylines..but stands tall in heritage n culture
Written March 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda R
East Cowes, UK31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
Beautiful building, very peaceful setting. Unfortunately, we could not look inside as it was closed to public.
Written July 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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St. Giles Cripplegate, London

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