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St Mary-le-Bow - Church, London


St Mary-le-Bow - Church, London


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Cannon Street

St Mary-le-Bow Church, Cheapside, EC2

A church has been on the site of St Mary-le-Bow since 1087 when a Norman church had been erected there. Between 1670 and 1683 St Mary’s was rebuilt on a design by Sir Christopher Wren and in the 1750s a new peal of ten 'Bow Bells' was installed, with the ten bells being rung together for the first time on June 4th 1762 to mark the 25th birthday of King George III.

During the World War II the church was destroyed by enemy bombing. A programme of reconstruction was implemented in the 1950's and 60's.

The Bow bells of St Mary le Bow are probably the most famous bells in the world and for hundreds of years have been woven into the folklore of the City of London. It was in 1392 that a young Dick Whittington heard the Bow bells call him back to London to become the Lord Mayor. To be born within the sound of the Bow bells was (and still is!) the sign of a true Londoner or Cockney.

Bow bell's ends the medieval nursery rhyme "Oranges and Lemons" with the line 'I do not know says the Great Bell of Bow'.

During the World War II the BBC's World Service broadcast used a recording of Bow bells, made in 1926, this was used as a symbol of hope to the free people of Europe. This recording is still used by the BBC as an interval signal.

Open Monday - Thursday 07.00 to 18.00; Friday 07.00 to 16.00 Services daily - Admission Free

Tel: 020 7248 5139

Website: www.stmarylebow.co.uk

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