Bow  Middlesex


In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Bow like this:

BOW, a parish and a subdistrict in Poplar district, Middlesex. The parish is called also Stratford-le-Bow; lies on the river Lea, and on the North London and Eastern Counties railways, within Tower Hamlets borough, in the eastern suburbs of London, 4 miles ENE of St. Pauls; includes the village of Stratford, the hamlet of Old Ford, and part of Victoria Park; and has a station of Bow on the North London railway, a station of Stratford on the Eastern Counties railway, and post offices of Bow,‡ Bow-Road,‡ and Old Ford, under London E. ...

Acres, 809. Real property, £78,460. Pop., in 1841, 4,626; in 1861, 11,590. Houses, 1,848. The name Bow alludes to a bow-shaped, three-arched bridge across the Lea, built by Matilda, the queen of Henry I. and not taken down till 1834; and the name Stratford alludes to a ford in the Lea, on the line of the Roman road or "stratum" to Layton. A new bridge, in lieu of the ancient one, with one oblique arch of 70 feet, was erected in 1839, at a cost of £11,000. Bow was once famous for cream and cakes; it also carried on an extensive manufacture of porcelain; and it had a notable annual fair which became so great a nuisance, that it was suppressed by parliament. It now has dye-houses, large breweries, and the East London waterworks; and takes a character from the proximity of the India docks. The parish was formerly a chapelry to Stepney, and became parochial in 1717. The living is a rectory in the diocese of London. Value, £349.* Patron, the Bishop of London. The church was built in the time of Henry II.; presents a curious mixture of Norman and early English; and has a low tower and an eight-sided corner turret. The vicarage of Old Ford is a separate benefice. A Baptist chapel, in the Byzantine style, at a cost of nearly £7,000, was built in 1867. There are other dissenting chapels, two endowed schools with £27 and £254, and charities £170.-The subdistrict contains also the parish of Bromley St. Leonard. Pop., 35,667.

Bow through time

Bow is now part of Tower Hamlets district. Click here for graphs and data of how Tower Hamlets has changed over two centuries. For statistics about Bow itself, go to Units and Statistics.

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Bow, in Tower Hamlets and Middlesex | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 26th October 2021

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