The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:

Open location in Google Maps: 51.513699, -0.093496

7 Annotations

First Reading

jamie yeager  •  Link

Being "born within the sound of Bow bells" used to be the official definition of a Cockney...

Second Reading

Bill  •  Link

At the vpper ende of Hosier Lane, towarde West Cheape, is the fayre Parish Church of Saint Marie Bow. This Church in the reigne of William Conquerour, being the first in this Cittie builded on Arches of stone, was therefore called newe Marie Church, of Saint Marie de Arcubus, or le Bow in West Cheaping: As Stratford Bridge being the first, builded (by Matilde the Queene, wife to Henrie the first) with Arches of stone, was called Stratford le Bow, which names to the said Church and Bridge remayneth till this day.
---A Survey of London. John Stow, 1603.

Bill  •  Link

I should have added this to the above from Stow:

The Court of the Arches is kept in this Church, and taketh name of the place, not the place of the Court, but of what antiquitie or continuation that Court hath there continued I cannot learne.

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"The earliest record of the Bow Bells is from 1469 when the Common Council ordered a curfew rung each night at 9pm, marking the end of the apprentices’ working day.

"In 1588, Robert Greene compared Christopher Marlowe’s poetry to the sound of Bow Bells when he wrote, “for that I could make my verses jet upon the stage in tragical buskins, every word filling the mouth like the faburden of Bow-Bell, daring God out of Heaven with that Atheist ‘Tamerlaine.'”

"After the Great Fire, Christopher Wren rebuilt St Mary-le-Bow and the association with Whitechapel [Bell Foundry] began in 1738 when Master Founder Thomas Lester recast the tenor bell. In 1762, he recast the other seven bells and added two more to make a set of ten that were first rung to celebrate George III’s twenty-fifth’s birthday."

For pictures from the belfry (scroll down for the carving of Dick Whittington and his cat) and more information, see…

Third Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

Spitalfields Life gave Pepys and St Mary Stratford Atte Bow Church another shout out with an informative article and photos, including one of the 17th century font.
Also a sad story of a 15 year old who died of smallpox on her wedding day in 1690.
The stories told on those old, worn memorials can break your heart.…

Log in to post an annotation.

If you don't have an account, then register here.


Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.



  • Feb


  • Aug