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A court in the Rookery at Bedfordbury. St. Giles near present day New Oxford Street was an area of Irish settlement in London during the 19th century. Many Irish people were forced to emigrate due to lack of food and arrived en masse in London with little money. St. Giles was described by a contemporary writer as a poverty stricken, dilapidated area: 'Rows of crumbling houses flanked by courts and alleys…squalid children, haggard men with long uncombed hair, in rags with a short pipe in their mouths, many speaking Irish, women without shoes or stockings - a babe…at the breast…; wolfish looking dogs; decayed vegetables strewing the pavement, low public houses, linen hanging across the streets to dry.'
© Museum of London