Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.
If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/
Delighted to welcome a new participant to the series…with the pen name Gibson Square writes The Cabbie Blog and has an archive full of entertaining, informative and revealing posts on London where he is a black cab driver…and you might like to pop into the back of his cab series to see all the rich and famous or infamous he has ferried around the capital.
This week a post from the Urban View series which looks at buildings or locations in London that have a hidden history..
An Urban View – 223 Bow Road by Gibson Square – The Cabbie Blog
Every month CabbieBlog hopes to show you a little gem of a building which you might have passed without noticing, and this at the side of the main road one took quite a time to find.
The building this month is passed unnoticed by thousands every day standing as it does incongruously next to a drive-in McDonald’s close to the Bow flyover, so anonymous are its outward features they belie the building’s importance.
The origin of Bow
There is a story that the name Bow was derived from the shape of the arch of the 12th-century bridge which spanned the river Lea where Bow flyover now stands. This bridge is thought to have been the first stone-arched Bridge in Britain and this was 60 years before the first such bridge was built across the Thames in London.
There is a story that this bridge was commissioned to be built by Queen Matilda after she ‘had been well washed in the waters’ when trying to cross by the ford when on her way to Barking. During the 14th century, there was a chapel on the bridge dedicated to St Katherine and in this, there lived a hermit. Chaucer referred to Bow in his Canterbury Tales which takes the name back at least to the 14th century.
9-day Morris dance
No. 223 Bow Road seems to sit rather shyly near to the brash new MacDonald’s nearby. The building dates back to the 17th century and so it is possible that Will Kempe, a leading Shakespearean actor, who crossed the river Lea at Bow in 1600 on his 9-day Morris Dance from Stepney to Norwich, might have known this little house with its two quaint bay windows on the first floor.
Its rounded bays on the ground floor were added later in the early 19th century to make a shop front in the rural village of Bow. The oldest photograph of this building is of M. Howes was an old established corn and flour dealer selling animal feed, horse mixture, straw, and hay from this double-bay 17th-century house. Grade II listed it is one of the oldest properties in East London.
©Gibson Square 2013
About : Gibson Square.
Thanks for taking the time to check out this page about CabbieBlog. Writing under the pseudonym Gibson Square – the destination of the first ‘run’ in the Blue Book of The Knowledge – I put pen to paper about all things to be found in London.
Why spend money sitting in a noisy cab listening to whingeing from your London cab driver, or having him fill your head with useless London trivia when you can sit in comfort and read it for free?
I promise if you have a love for London you will not be disappointed. So sit down, have a cuppa, and spend a little time in my company.
I have been a Licensed Black London Cabbie since January 1997 and over that time and the five years that it took to gain The Knowledge, I’ve grown to love and despair of London in equal measure.
On Tuesday and Friday I post about London places that have taken my interest, while every Sunday is given over to nuggets of trivial information with a short piece relating to the day in question.
Connect with Gibson Square on Social Media
My thanks to Gibson Square for letting me share his fascinating posts about London….I hope you will head over and discover more secrets about the city and its people….