About the area
Formed nearly 30 years ago, the Bow Bells Association promotes local businesses and organises events to increase public interest and commercial activity in the Ward of Cordwainer, covering an area that includes Bow Lane, Watling Street, Well Court, Groveland Court and Bow Churchyard.
Originally meeting in the crypt of St Mary-le-Bow church, the Association has for many years arranged the annual switching-on of the Christmas lights in Bow Lane by the Lady Mayoress, and has recently brought jazz music to the local streets during the summer months.
Under the leadership of Chairman Brigham Blackborn and Vice Chair Claire Dumontier-Marriage, it encourages input from all businesses in the vicinity, from local bars and restaurants to commercial property, financial services and legal firms.
Drawing on the rich history and unique atmosphere of the area, the Association is committed to contributing to Cheapside’s burgeoning reputation as great place to work, shop and relax.
About Cordwainer Ward
The Ward of Cordwainer is at the heart of the City of London. It is home to two of the great churches of the City, St Mary-le-Bow and St Mary Aldermary, a number of historic streets including Watling Street, Bow Lane and Cheapside, major financial institutions, and a wide range of small businesses, shops, restaurants and cafés. In recent years, the Ward has been substantially redeveloped and the street scene enhanced.
The Ward of Cordwainer Club plays an important role in the life of the Ward.
The streets around the church of St Mary-le-Bow wear their history proudly, with Watling Street – which affords impressive views of St Paul’s Cathedral – tracing the route of the original Roman road that ran through the City from London Bridge to Newgate.
In the middle ages, St Mary-le-Bow was famous as the home of the single ‘curfew’ bell, which rung from the site in the middle of London’s main thoroughfare – Cheapside – to indicate the end of the working day.
Another local landmark is Ye Olde Watling pub, which is said to have been constructed from old ships’ timbers by Sir Christopher Wren. Its upstairs rooms were used as a drawing office during the building of St Paul’s Cathedral.