St. Giles Rookery exhibition

Client: 
Legal & General/Stanhope
Date: 
2011

From 2006-2008, we undertook archaeological excavations on the site of the former St Giles Court, St Giles High Street, prior to the construction of the Central Saint Giles development designed by Lorenzo Piano. The area had been a notorious slum during the 18th-19th centuries - the St Giles Rookery - well known in contemporary art and literature for its gin houses and licentiousness.

London's Underworld Unearthed: The secret life of the Rookery, brought archaeology and art together; communicating the infamous history of the site with a new audience.

In 2011 artefacts from the site were included in an exhibition by local artist Jane Palm-Gold at the Coningsby Gallery. London's Underworld Unearthed: The secret life of the Rookery, blended original artworks, archaeology and research to bring the St Giles Rookery to life, and to draw parallels between the Rookery and the modern locale. The display achieved national coverage and was well attended by the public.

On display were examples of 18th and 19th-century artefacts reflecting life within the Rookery. Clay tobacco pipes, glass wine bottles and a ceramic fuddling cup bore witness to the range of pleasures associated with life in the Rookery.

The exhibition coincided with the publication of our findings from the Central Saint Giles site: Medieval settlement to 18-/19th century Rookery. Excavations at Central Saint Giles, London Borough of Camden, 2006-08.

 

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