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St. Giles-in-the-Fields church dates from the early 12th-century, when Henry I’s wife built a leper hospital outside the western walls of the City. She dedicated it to St. Giles – the patron saint of outcasts.
Its relatively western position saved it from the Great Fire of London in 1666, and apart from a redesign in 1623 and 1733 has largely remained intact. Its interior was given some minor modifications in 1875 and 1896.
Some of the famous names associated with the church include Prime Minister Henry Pelham (who was baptized here), David Garrick (who married his wife in 1749), and Sir John Soane – founder of the British Museum – who is buried in the grounds.
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