The Foundation’s origins lie in gifts and donations made to the Church of St. Giles Without Cripplegate for ‘the poor and needy’.
The parish was named after one of the gates in the walls around the City of London. It extended some distance to the north, and included the ancient manor of Finsbury. Today, the medieval church of St. Giles stands in the heart of the modern Barbican estate.
John Sworder made the first recorded gift in his will, dated 2nd April 1500. Many people followed John Sworder’s example, leaving legacies for education or to assist ‘the poor’.
In 1732, the parish of St. Giles was divided, with St. Luke’s Old Street becoming responsible for the area of the parish north of Old Street. The charitable funds were divided.
Cripplegate Foundation was established in 1891 by a scheme made under the London Parochial Charities Act of 1883. This amalgamated all the charitable donations previously administered as separate trusts.