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Help and advice for St Mary le Bow

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St Mary le Bow

"ST. MARY-LE-BOW, the church of, is situated on the south side of Cheapside, at the corners of Bow-lane and Bow Church-yard. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and derives its addition from being the first church built in London upon arches, then called Bows. It was founded in or before the reign of William the Norman, and was at first called New Mary Church, but afterwards received the epithet of De Arcubus or Le Bow, in Westcheap. In 1271 it was much decayed, and many persons were killed and maimed by the fall of the steeple, which was not completely rebuilt till 1469, when the common-coun- cil ordered that Bow bell should be rung at nine o^clock every night. Hence the proverb of Bow bell. The old church was destroyed by the fire of London, and the present edifice erected in its stead by Sir Christopher Wren, in 1671. . . After the fire of London, the small parishes of ALLHALLOWS, Honey-lane, and ST. PANCRAS, Soper-lane, were united to it by act of parliament. . . The present rector is the Rev. Anthony Hamilton, Archdeacon of Taunton, a Prebendary of Wells." [James Elmes. A Topographical Dictionary of London and its Environs (1831) - transcribed by Brian Randell]

This parish - no. 43 in the above map - is located in Cordwainer Ward.
The church dates from before the Great Fire, and was rebuilt by Wren 1670-83, gutted 1941, rebuilt post-WWII.
St Mary le Bow united with Allhallows Honey Lane and St Pancras Soper Lane in 1670.


Archives and Libraries

London Metropolitan Archive holdings for St Mary le Bow.



You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the St Mary le Bow area or see them printed on a map.


Church History

St.Mary-le-Bow church, Cheapside, from The History of London website.

St Mary le Bow Church, a paper by Col. C.C.O. Whiteley, to the Guildhall Historical Association.

Byrne, Michael and Bush, G.R. St Mary-le-Bow: A History. Barnsley: Wharncliffe Books, (2007) 340pp. [Description] [Available now direct from the church]

Church Records

Online Parish Register Images and Indexes for St Mary le Bow parish are provided by, or at various subscription sites via, the LDS FamilySearch wiki.

Bannerman, W. Bruce. The Registers of St. Mary Le Bowe, Cheapside, All Hallows, Honey Lane, and of St. Pancras, Soper Lane, London , Vol. 45, Harleian Society Vol. 45 (1915) 260pp. [Full text]

Description and Travel

Wikipedia page on St Mary le Bow.

World Heritage Encycyclopedia page on St Mary le Bow.

You can see pictures of St Mary le Bow which are provided by:



Keene, D.J. and Harding, Vanessa. Historical Gazetteer of London Before the Great Fire Cheapside; Parishes of All Hallows Honey Lane, St Martin Pomary, St Mary Le Bow, St Mary Colechurch and St Pancras Soper Lane, Centre for Metropolitan History, London (1987) [Full text - British History Online]

Ask for a calculation of the distance from St Mary le Bow to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which St Mary le Bow has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Summary history of St Mary le Bow parish, from the Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks.


Names, Personal

Surnames from the 1881 census in the St Mary le Bow district.



Clerical career summaries for the parish of St Mary Le Bow And St Pancras Soper Lane With All Hallows Honey Lane, from the Clergy of the Church of England Database website.


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

A brief report on, and map of, the parish workhouse is given in City of London Parish Workhouses.



Sources for listings of taxpayer names for St Mary le Bow parish, listed on the LDS FamilySearch wiki.

St Mary le Bow: Tithe assessment 1672 - provided in British History Online.