St. Giles Cripplegate Church
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St. Giles Cripplegate Church

A woman suffering from catalepsy, was almost buried alive.....


St Giles-without-Cripplegate is a Church of England church in the City of London. When it was built it stood without (ie, outside) the city wall, near the Cripplegate. It's dedicated to St Giles, the patron saint of beggars and the handicapped.

It is one of the few medieval churches left in the City of London, having survived the Great Fire of 1666. Originally there had been a Saxon church here in the 11th century but by 1090 it had been replaced by a Norman one.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.

Oliver Cromwell, military commander and Lord Protector of England during the Commonwealth, married Elizabeth Bourchier here in 1620.

John Milton, author of Paradise Lost, was buried in this church in 1674.

There is also a story of a Cripplegate Ghost - over a hundred years ago, a London shoemaker was heart-broken when his lovely young wife died. On the day before the funeral, her body was placed in its coffin and taken to the church of St. Giles of Cripplegate. The shoemaker stayed with the coffin for a few hours until night began to fall. Then he left the church and made his way home. The fact is that this woman wasn't actually dead. She was suffering from an illness called catalepsy, which gave her the appearance of being dead though she was still alive.

Location: Fore Street, Barbican, EC2Y 8DA


This is the church where Lord Protector and general king-killing, massacreing, reforming nutcase Oliver Cromwell married Elizabeth Bourchier in 1620. (Martin Fields)
Posted by Martin Fields on 2011-08-22