Nearest Tube: St Paul's
There has been a church on this site since at least the 11th century, though the original one burnt down in the Great Fire of London. It was re-built by Christopher Wren in the 1670s.
Wren's church suffered extensive bomb damage in the Second World War and much of the interior was destroyed. And so the church was again re-built in the 1950s, this time to a design by Laurence King.
However, some parts of Wren's church have survived, notably the spire topped with a dragon weathercock. In addition the crypt is Norman and it has been suggested that it is the elegant arches of this crypt that have given the church its name.
St Mary-le-Bow is most famous for the assertion that you can only claim to be a true cockney if you are born within the sound of this church's bells. This tradition dates back to the 14th century when the church rang out a nightly curfew for the City of London - and so you had to be within earshot of the bells to be a true Londoner.
The church is open to the public daily, entrance is free. There is a vegetarian café located in the basement.
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