Oranges & Lemons Churches
First published in 1722, there has been enormous speculation around the identity of the churches in ‘Oranges & Lemons.’ But since St Clement’s Eastcheap once stood in close proximity to St Martin Ongar within an area traditionally inhabited by moneylenders in the City of Lond0n, I deduce these are the two churches featured in the opening lines.
From here, the locations spiral out and around the City like a peal of bells blowing on the wind. The third line refers to St Sepulcre-without-Newgate which stands opposite the Old Bailey and close to the location of the Fleet Prison where debtors were held. The fourth line features St Leonard’s, Shoreditch, while the church in the fifth line is St Dunstan’s, Stepney, and rhyme culminates back in the City of London at St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside.
St Clement’s, Eastcheap
“Oranges and lemons,” say the bells of St. Clement’s
Site of St Martin Orgar, Martin Lane
“You owe me five farthings,” say the bells of St. Martin’s
“When will you pay me?” say the bells of Old Bailey
St Leonard’s, Shoreditch
“When I grow rich,” say the bells of Shoreditch
St Dunstan’s, Stepney
“When will that be?” say the bells of Stepney
St Mary Le Bow, Cheapside
“I do not know,” says the great bell of Bow
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