Did you know… During World War Two, the BBC broadcast the sound of Bow bells throughout occupied Europe.
> Read Craig’s review of St. Mary-le-Bow church Check out my London blog for a full review, with more photos
St. Mary-le-Bow church was built by Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London. He built fifty-one city churches in total – of which this was said to be one of the most beautiful.
The church that we see today actually dates from 1844, although Wren’s original crypt survives. The interior was rebuilt again in the 1950s after wartime bomb damage.
It is said that the Wren based the porch on Mansart’s Hôtel de Conti, and graced it with large Doric columns. The rest may have its basis in the Basilica of Maxentus in Rome.
If you’re born within the sound of Bow bells then you’re said to be a true cockney. This tradition probably originated in the late 15th-century, when a curfew was rung at 9PM for the people roundabouts.