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

Located on Stepney High Street, a church has stood on the site prior to 925AD. This is the third incarnation, and was erected in 1580. Located within the Oranges and Lemons remit, there are ten bells in the belfry, some dating back to 1385 and some of which were made in the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

Of the Churches visited, it seems they are the most visibly proud of their architectural, & Oranges and Lemons heritage:


As per their information board, Stepney has strong links with London’s dockyards and the ancient ports, and it is thought that the phrase “When will that be?” could refer to the wives waiting for their husbands, brothers and sons to return from voyages – in the 16th and 17th Century many sailors were employed on Voyages of Discovery to the New Worlds. A two year wait for their kin (and their wages) wasn’t unusual.

Just remember when visiting – no taking your horse (because everyone in Central London has a horse?) and no practising your golf swing on the grounds. You know who you are.

For further info, opening hours etc. check out their website or Twitter.
For great old photos: http://www.stdunstanstepney.com/photos-historic.html

 “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.

Could you wait for someone for two years without Skype, Facebook, Twitter or phone communication?

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