The Rookery of St Giles in the Fields became the city's most notorious slum by the eighteenth century. This paper asks why? Why there, why then, and why for so long? By considering the geography, economics, and legal influences acting upon the space and the people who interacted with it, it becomes clear that the Rookery of St Giles-in-the-Fields was always high risk because of happenstance of geography, but that a few key decisions and unfortunate mishaps led to its longevity and the depth of its depravity.
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