Oranges and lemons
July 26, 2006 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Love's guide to the church bells of the City of London (with sounds, peals and pictures).
posted by tellurian (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Nice! And calls to mind, of course, the old nursery rhyme
posted by IndigoJones at 6:09 PM on July 26, 2006

This is cool...

My mom always said that one of her grandmothers was "born in the sound of beau bells" - but she never said what the significance of that was. I am wondering if this "St Mary le Bow" is the "beau" that I assumed she was saying. I'll have to ask her.
posted by meringue at 6:45 PM on July 26, 2006

Thanks IndigoJones, I've never heard of the longer version. meringue, that's right, your great-great-grandmother was a Cockney.
posted by tellurian at 6:54 PM on July 26, 2006

Thanks for the link, tellurian... I had no idea.

As a North American, the age of these churches, and their bells, amazes me. And the names of some of them are great, too - I especially like "St Andrew By The Wardrobe".
posted by meringue at 7:51 PM on July 26, 2006

meringue - yup, it's "born in the sound of Bow Bells", which is Mile End area. I was born there too, and it means that you're Cockney. Link to Google Maps - I believe that's them, dead centre... well, according to Google Earth, anyways.
And on preview, what tellurian said.
posted by Zack_Replica at 8:00 PM on July 26, 2006

Bugger. Link to Google maps.
posted by Zack_Replica at 8:04 PM on July 26, 2006

My wife is a bellringer & has rung in quite a few of these. (Although she's a member of the other London society since the College Youths didn't vote to admit women until 1998)

Bellringing is a subculture all to itself.
posted by pharm at 12:31 AM on July 27, 2006

""born in the sound of Bow Bells", which is Mile End area."

There are those, including the original article, who argue that the "Bow Bells" are those of Mary-le-Bow in Cheapside rather than Bow near Mile End.

I grant you that probably nobody has been born in Cheapside for a century, and that Mile End (pace Pulp) is much more cockney...
posted by GeorgeBickham at 12:37 AM on July 27, 2006

I always thought it was Bow Church not Mary-le-Bow too. But it's probably about time that whole 'born in the sound of Bow Bells' things gets updated anyway. I propose to only make people a Cockney if their home is going to be demolished for the Olympics.
posted by randomination at 2:14 AM on July 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

I especially like "St Andrew By The Wardrobe".

I just finished reading a good book about one night of the Blitz (called, you guessed it, Blitz) in which many efforts to save these old City of London churches were detailed. One of the interesting things I learned was where those names come from - it's really simple, there were too few saints' names to go around, and too many churches, so they had to come up with some rather ingenious ways of discriminating one St Andrews from another St Andrews and so on.
posted by LondonYank at 6:27 AM on July 27, 2006

Some of these churches and their bells are likely to be in London Open House - the weekend where over 600 London buildings, many not usually open to the public, are available to visit. I saw St Dunstan in the East - and its bells - a couple of years ago. The weekend is 16th and 17th September this year but the programme is not available until mid-August.
posted by paduasoy at 4:42 PM on July 27, 2006

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