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St Mary le Bow

St Mary le Bow

Medium: Pencil on paper

Date: 1780

Shelfmark: Ktop XXIII

Item number: 27 g

Genre: Topographical Drawing

This is an elevation of the west side of the Church of St Mary le Bow. According to custom, a person must be born within earshot of the church's bells to be considered a true cockney - initially a derogatory term for "town dweller". The church was destroyed in the Great Fire and rebuilt by Wren in 1670/3. The design was based on the Basilica of Maxentius in Rome. St Mary's is also famous for its splendid, 224ft-tall steeple and Norman crypt . Daniel Defoe in his Tour of London, says that although many London churches are "convenient rather than fine", some such as Bow "hold up their heads with grandeur and magnificence".

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