On a wintery day in East London, we decided to continue checking out the Churches & Bell Towers in the Oranges & Lemons nursery rhyme, a goal I’ve had since coming to London (that and the Monopoly Pub crawl which is planned for a warmer time of the year).
I can’t tell you how welcoming this warm pretty church was, full of practising singers & Christmas cheer.
“Recorded since the 12th century, the original church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and rebuilt by the office of Sir Christopher Wren. St. Margaret Lothbury still serves as a parish church, as well as being the official church of five Livery Companies, two Ward Clubs and two Professional Institutes. It also has connections with many local finance houses all of whom hold special services each year.”
Situated in the heart of the city, St Margarets is tucked away near Bank Tube Station, very close to the Bank of England and the Corn Exchange.
The quarter is steeped in money and people in power-shoulders and suits.
I’ve always held a fascination for Churches though, not the religious connotation, but the rich architectural history & iconography. There is something lovely about a space that is allowed to be untainted, especially a Church such as this in the centre of London’s money making district.
Postscript: Having done much better research than me, Rhymes.co.uk explains;
The “Bullseyes and Targets” refer to archery which was practised in the nearby fields. In 1363 King Edward III had commanded the obligatory practice of archery on Sundays and holidays. This tradition continued, thus ensuring the safety of the Realm, until Bows were replaced with guns.
“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.
Directions can be found here and they have a Twitter feed if you’re interested.