Not my words but those of Sir Thomas Peynton’s, casting his eye over this locality at the time of the Plague…
St. Giles has caused lots of mischief in it’s time – or rather it’s inhabitants have: Hogarth captured them in this locality in his ‘Gin Lane’ print and on the same site, some 60 years later, sat the VERY worst rookery in London which the authorities had a great go at obliterating for many years… Full of the Irish, criminals and prostitutes, it must have been a wondrous place: I wish I could have seen it. Upon this site now is the new and snazzy Central Saint Giles building.
Echoes of old St. Giles still remain though and I’ve been documenting this mayhem for years in drawings observed from my window. These days the ‘mischief’ is the product of the crack ‘industry’ long established here.
© Jane Palm-Gold/DACS 2010