London Living: Oranges and Lemons, say the bells of St Clements…

Guess what I accidentally stumbled upon? St Clement’s just as the bells were ringing. The original church was badly damaged in 1948 by enemy fire & was rebuilt in 1958 and was dedicated to the RAF.

“For over 1,000 years a church has stood on this spot. Tradition holds that it was originally built by Danes expelled from the City of London by King Alfred in the ninth century.  It is mentioned in William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book (1086) and for nearly 150 years was in the care of the Knights Templar (1170-1312). The church escaped damage in the Great Fire of London (1666) but was rebuilt in 1681 by Christopher Wren and a steeple was added to the tower by James Gibbs in 1719. On 10 May 1941 incendiary bombs gutted the building leaving only the walls and tower standing, so ending another chapter in its rich history.”

Bomb damage from the World Wars:


“Oranges and Lemons” say the bells of St Clement’s

“Bull’s eyes and targets” say the bells of St Margaret’s.

“Pokers and tongs” say the bells of St John’s.

“Pancakes and fritters” say the bells of St Peter’s.

“Two sticks and an apple” say the bells of Whitechapel.

“Old Father Baldpate” say the slow bells of Aldgate.

“Maids in white aprons ” say the bells of St Katharine’s.

“Brickbats and tiles” say the bells of St Giles’.

“Kettles and pans” say the bells of St Anne’s.

“You owe me five farthings” say the bells of St Martin’s.

“When will you pay me?” say the bells of Old Bailey.

“When I grow rich” say the bells of Shoreditch.

“Pray when will that be?” say the bells of Stepney.

“I’m sure I don’t know” says the great bell of

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,

Chip chop, chip chop, the last man’s dead.

We’ve got some future walking to do methinks!

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