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St. Mary-le-Bow Church

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St. Mary-le-Bow Church


Structure in General

existing [completed]




  • Completed in 1683, the new St. Mary-le-Bow Church sports one of Wren's tallest and most elegant spires, topped by a golden ball surmounted by a 9ft-long flying dragon.
  • The site of St. Mary-le-Bow has been occupied by a church for the last thousand years. The original church was called St. Mary New Church as it came after St. Mary Aldermary in Bow Lane, and by the Norman period was known as Sancta Maria de Arcubus - Arcubus meaning 'arch' or 'bow arch'.
  • The tower's top sports a weathervane in the shape of a dragon.
  • The bells of the church are known as 'Bow bells', within the sound of which every true Cockney Londoner is supposed to be born.
  • This reference to the 11th Century bow arches in the crypt of the old church led to the suffix 'le Bow' being added to the name. When Sir Christopher Wren designed the new church to replace that destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666, he alluded to the arches in the design of the spire.
  • In World War II (1941) the church was almost completely destroyed; it was restored and re-consecrated in 1964.
  • The church's foundations incorporate Roman stones found 18 feet below ground level during Wren's excavations.

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City of London
United Kingdom

Technical Data

221.82 ft
221.82 ft

Involved Companies

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Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • National landmark
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