Walking tour guide to St. Mary le Bow Church and St Paul’s Cathedral in central London.
St Paul’s behind me is an iconic cathedral on the London city scape but we’re going somewhere with a bit more cultural significance here in London. We’re going to a church called St Mary Le Bow’s. If you’re born within the sound of the bells of ths church, you can officially be called a Cockney.
Cockney is a word that comes from all different sources. It’s got a bit of Yiddish with kosher, which means legitimate, its got a bit of Romany as well with Wonga meaning coal or nowadays used to mean money, and also cushty which means good and it comes from the word cushtypet.
This is the St Mary Le Bow, the famous St Mary Le Bow church and it meant in that time, if you can hear the bells, so you’re born here, a Cockney, a true Londoner. That’s the story about true Londoners. If you can hear the bells you’re a true Londoner. If you can’t hear them, so you’re not a Londoner.
Yeah, thank you.
The term was originally used by royal people who came to live in London to describe the city folk that lived more on their wits than by on their muscle. Nowadays it’s really hard to find someone who’s one hundred per cent from this city. Its easier to find people from other areas of the world. From every part of the world. Over thirty five per cent of people who live in London are foreign born.
St Paul’s Cathedral as we know it today had to be rebuilt in the seventeenth century after the Great Fire of London. It was the tallest building in London for over two hundred years. It was also the place where Prince Charles and Diana were married.