A Conversation for The East End of London, UK

Bow Bells

Post 1


Having lived in the East end in all my life (Born in Mile end, lived in Bow and then Stepney.) I enjoyed reading your posting apart from one thing Bow Bells. The within the sound of bow bells tradition is very old and comes from a time when tower hamlets wasn't much more than little hamlets by the tower. So Mary le bow is more likely to be the bow church in question. Also with out the traffic and 24 hour noise of modern London the sound of the bells would travel alot futher. The east of what is now known as the City was highly populated with the true and now very rare eastenders.

Bow Bells

Post 2


Yes I definitely agree. How can Bow church possibly be the proper home of the bow bells? smiley - erm

Bow Bells

Post 3


the real Bow bells are in the city of london near Bank station on the cheapside hope is helps you outsmiley - biggrin

Bow Bells

Post 4


my great nan has always told me that it was the mary le bow church bells that signified a true cockney, and she is one :s

Bow Bells

Post 5

Phoenician Trader

I can believe it is the St Mary le Bow bells. I live a fair distance away (sarf) and at night (3am) I can hear St Paul's, St Mary le Bow and St Mary Overie ring the hours in that order. Both St Paul's and Mary le Bow are on the two hills of London (separated by the now covered over Walbrook) and without highrise, or modern 'very noisy things' they would be easily heard two or three miles out of the city.

Also I believe the tennor bell at St Mary le Bow was London's curfew bell when required.

smiley - lighthouse

Bow Bells

Post 6

Tolkny Pseudonymn

There was a TV Broadcast about 'Bow Bells' and St Mary le Bow with an interview after about 7 minutes here in Michael Portillo's BBC 2 TV Great British Railway Journeys - Series 3, 5. Fenchurch to Embankment.

They explain how it came to be the Curfew Bell.


At present it is available to view and probably it will be repeated and maybe later also available to purchase on DVD, as Series 1 is already.


Also a link to the Church Website.


Plus a mention of The Whitechapel Bell Foundary (in the area now accepted as the 'true' East End of London) - where the renewed bells of St Mary Le Bow church were cast after war damage in 2nd World War.



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Bow Bells

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