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  • St Mary-Le-Bow
    Cheapside

    London EC2V 6AU
    The City
  • Transit information Central Circle District Hammersmith & City Metropolitan Northern Waterloo & City Get Directions

Bow Bells, London by Qype User Templa…

Bow Bells, London by Qype User Templa…

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    • Qype User lovely…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 3 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    5/8/2013

    The Bow bells in the Norman Crypt, for which the church owes its name, were once used to signal a curfew in the City of London. Before modern traffic noise, they could be heard as far away as Hackney Marshes.

    • Qype User Templa…
    • Stevenage, Hertfordshire
    • 380 friends
    • 498 reviews
    4.0 star rating
    21/11/2008

    St Mary-Le-Bow,Cheapside, was immortalised in the nursury song Oranges and Lemons.
    To be born with the sound of Bow Bells is said to be the sign that you are a true Londoner or Cockney.

    The Bow bells in the Norman Crypt, for which the church owes its name, were once used to signal a curfew in the City of London. Before modern traffic noise, they could be heard as far away as Hackney Marshes.
    The bells are also credited with having persuaded Dick Whittington to turn back from Highgate and remain in London to become Lord Mayor (three times in the story but four times in reality).

    This church was rebuilt by Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London and again after World War II bomb damage, and it was during this period that the distinctive peal of the Bow Bells was broadcast by the BBC to the enemy-occupied countries of Europe.

    For a Londoner to be able to call him or herself an 'authentic cockney', they must have been born within the sound of St Mary-Le-Bow Church in Cheapside.

    'Cockney' or 'cock's egg' was a 14th Century term applied contemptuously by rural people to native Londoners who lived rather by their wits than their muscle. Today's natives of London, especially its East End use the term with pride - 'Cockney Pride'.

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