Tag Archives: St Clement Danes

The “Oranges and Lemons” Service at St Clement Danes


A special “Oranges and Lemons” service will take place in the church of St Clement Danes  today, as it has on the third Thursday in March every year since 1919, to commemorate the reference to the church – or possibly that of St Clement Eastcheap – in the well-known nursery rhyme “Oranges and Lemons (say the bells of St Clements)” (*).

Participating children from the local Primary School will each be presented with an orange and a lemon to take home at the end.

(*) The nursery rhyme is of uncertain antiquity, although  versions of it  date back as least as far as the early eighteenth century.  Besides St Clements, other churches referred to include St Martin’s [?St Martin within Ludgate or St Martin in the Fields], Old Bailey [St Sepulchre without Newgate], Shoreditch [St Leonard], Stepney [St Dunstan and All Saints] and Bow [St Mary-le-Bow].

Oranges and lemons probably began to be  imported into London  at least as long ago as the fifteenth century.



Property Boundary Markers

I’ve had a number of questions about property boundary markers recently.
Most of those I’ve seen in and around the City of London have been parish boundary markers.  The most common types of these are brass plaques affixed to buildings, typically a little above head height – here are some examples:
St Katherine Cree
St Lawrence Jewry

St Mary Le Strand
St Stephen Coleman Street
St Clement Danes
(The anchor on the St Clement Danes plaque, the Katharine Wheel on the St Katharine Cree one, and the gridiron on the St Lawrence Jewry one, allude to the respective methods by which the nominate saints were martyred; the encircled cockerel on the St Stephen Coleman Street plaque, alludes  to the “La Cokke on the Hoop” brewery that stood on Coleman Street in the fifteenth century). 
At least one that I’m familiar with, though, is in the form of a carved inscription more or less at street level 
Christ Church (and St Sepulchre)
And another is reminiscent of a milestone.
St Clement Danes and St Dunstan in the West
Brass shields bearing coats-of-arms also mark the boundaries of the properties of the livery companies. 
Armorers’ and Brasiers’ Company
Readers interested in further information are referred to the following web-site: