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Property Bow

Bow Area Guide

History of Bow

The centre of Bow remains Bow Church which in parts dates as far back as the 13th century. The bridge across the River Lee is now is a four lane flyover, with both the Lee and Blackwall Tunnel approach below it. The High Street has few shops, with large scale post-war housing located to the south.

In 1556 at Bow, many people were brought by cart, from Newgate, and burned at the stake, in front of Bow Church, during the English Reformation.

In the 17th century Bow was famed for a Goose fair held after Pentecost. Over the years it degenerated and attracted drunken crowds and ‘loose women’ until the authorities put an end to the fair in the mid 19th century.

During the same period, because of the availibility of bones from the slaughtering of cattle for the City which took place there, Bow saw the flourishing of fine porcelain works, known as ‘Bow Porcelain’. This industry disappeared in the 19th century and was replaced with an increasing number of factories as the industrial revolution got under way. Among those was the Bryant and May match factory where the match girl strike took place in 1888 (Incidently the Bryant and May factory closed only in 1979 and has since been converted into flats known as Bow Quarter). This was a seminal strike as Bow was to be famed with its own suffragette movement set up by Sylvia Pankhurst and based at 198 Bow Road. Her movement was key to bringing full equal voting rights to women in 1928.

After the second world war and until recently, Bow remained a poor outpost of the East End. As the areas of Shoreditch, Whitechapel and Bethnal Green have become too costly for many, Bow is becoming increasingly attractive to those who want to be close to what is now one of the most desirable areas in London. The whole area is being regenerated thanks to canary Wharf nearby and the upcoming 2012 Olympics, making it an increasingly attractive place to live in.


Places of interest Click here for more information

• Brick lane Market (Sundays) • Columbia Road Flower Market (Sundays) • Victoria Park • Roman Road Market


Transport Links Visit Transport for London for more information

Bow Road - Hammersmith & City and District Lines

Mile End – Hammersmith & City, Central and District Lines

Bow Church - Docklands Light Railway


Local Authority

Tower Hamlets

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