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St. Mary-le-Bow

#505 of 1,568 things to do in London
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Address: Cheapside, London EC2, England
Phone Number:
+44 20 7248 5139

This church, designed by Christopher Wren and also known as Bow Church, is...

This church, designed by Christopher Wren and also known as Bow Church, is truly significant: anyone who is born within the sound of its bells is considered a "true" Londoner, or Cockney.

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Real part of London history.

A real part of London history. This is where the original 'Bow bells' ring out from, being born within the sound of Bow bells makes you a real cockney. Weren't able to go in as it... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed February 29, 2016
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
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38 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 29: English reviews
Gurnee, Illinois
Level Contributor
56 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2016

I had originally discovered this church in September by way of the restaurant in the crypt below (The Cafe Below), but the church proper was locked at this time. This was a return visit to get into the church while it was open, and the return visit was well worth the trip. It is in the shadows of St Paul's... More 

Thank William W
Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
425 reviews
175 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 29, 2016

A real part of London history. This is where the original 'Bow bells' ring out from, being born within the sound of Bow bells makes you a real cockney. Weren't able to go in as it was closed, but it is impressive just from the outside. I will make a point of visiiting when it is open.

Thank KenMaideheadUK
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2016 via mobile

Being a Cockney myself this church has a special meaning to me , the history alone is mind blowing the decor is fantastic anyone visiting London should go to this true gem of the east end

Thank DannyBurns73
Haywards Heath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2015

About halfway along Cheapside is the church that defines a Cockney. Yes, this is the real Bow Bells and as tradition states if you are born within the sound of the bells you are a Cockney. As the prevailing wind is from the west to the east most people who heard the bells were to the east i.e. in the... More 

Thank Vokon
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
165 reviews
86 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2015

Half way down historic Cheapside lies this gem. Lunchtime concerts are offered for free and there is a cafe in the crypt. The main church has ornate stained glass and an imposing crucifix. Side chapels offer room for reflection too. A lovely oasis amid the bustle of the City and its shopping. Worth a detour.

Thank Susan C
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
552 reviews
204 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 331 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2015

This church was one of Christopher Wrens, built after the Great Fire of London of 1666. According to tradition a true Cockney must be born within earshot of the sound of Bow Bells - which are the bells in this church in Cheapside. The building was badly damaged by a bomb during the Blitz on 10 May 1941. The current... More 

1 Thank James P
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
664 reviews
331 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 261 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2015 via mobile

A rather 1950-70s feel to the inside of this church, with geometric design stoned glass windows and "retro" lighting. Interesting sculptural masks at the apex of each arch. Like most London churches, a quiet place during the week, with the majority of visitors being the faithful. In many ways, this is a pity, as this (and most other churches) are... More 

Thank Clivel_98
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
153 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2015

The Reverend Bush was amazing - the service he performed was concise, very tasteful and much appreciated by all non-practising Christians. His dry humour shone through -this is the way to encourage youngsters into the Church. He graciously accepted our invitation to join us for a glass of bubbly and receive our thanks. And of course the Bow Bells were... More 

Thank Neil C
Horsham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
1,113 reviews
906 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 890 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 19, 2015

The 'cockney church' has always been one of my favourite City churches. The famous Bow Bells are those of this church, not of any church in the suburb of Bow in the 'East End'. This church, before the city expanded eastwards of the original 'square mile', was effectively London's 'High Street' church. It stands on Cheapside ('Cheap' used to mean... More 

Thank WMIM
Haslemere, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
115 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2014

This is a surprising venue in that one would expect a cafe in this area to be over-priced and indifferent. This one has good, attentive and considerate service, an efficient kitchen and simple, healthy food. A real find in an area mainly populated by over-priced restaurants and office-lunch fast-food feeding. The church upstairs is a marvel and a good place... More 

1 Thank CF y Flia F

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City of London
From its ancient past as a Roman trading outpost to its 21st century status as the wealthiest square mile in the world, the financial district known simply as “The City” is one of London's most historic and fascinating neighborhoods. Here high rise office towers such as Norman Foster’s Gherkin mingle with Roman ruins and architectural marvels from virtually every era in between, including Christopher Wren's glorious St.Paul's Cathedral, and John Soane's dauntingly classicist Bank of England. This neighborhood is also home to some of the finest restaurants and plushest hotels in Europe, in addition to an assortment of watering holes, upscale shops, and Tube stations. During the week, the City is abuzz with white collar workers going about their business; the weekend sees this area turn into a quiet haven for sightseers.
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