UK Genealogy Archives logo

Bow, Middlesex

Historical Description

Bow, a parish in Middlesex. The parish, which is also called Stratford-le-Bow, lies on the river Lea and on the North London and G.E.R., 4 miles ENE of St Paul's. 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 Leyton. 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 dyehouses, 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; net value, £350 with residence. 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 original parish has been divided into several ecclesiastical districts, viz.:-St Paul's, Old Ford; St Stephen's, North Bow; St Mark's, Victoria Park; and Christ Church, Bow.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyMiddlesex 
Ecclesiastical parishBow St. Mary 
Poor Law unionPoplar 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Bow from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Middlesex is online.


Online maps of Bow are available from a number of sites:

DistrictTower Hamlets
CountyGreater London
Postal districtE3
Post TownLondon