Nursery Rhymes

The Bells of Whitechapel


The bells of Whitechapel do not refer to a church but to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

The foundry was established in 1570 and famous for making the Liberty Bell which was shipped to America in 1752 and for making the 'Clock Bells' of St Paul's cathedral in 1709.

The Great Clock of Westminster - known as 'Big Ben' is the most famous bell ever cast at Whitechapel.

The best bells were made 'at the sign of the three bells' in Whitechapel.

We are unable to trace the origins of "Two Sticks and an Apple" however the foundry produced hand bells - similar in shape to toffee apples - could be a connection.

We also know that the transportation of bells to other parts of London drew great crowds and the atmosphere was similar to that of a fair where of course toffee apples were traditionally eaten


The Bells of Whitechapel

"Gay go up and gay go down
To Ring the Bells of London Town
"Oranges and Lemons" say the Bells of St. Clements

"Bullseyes and Targets" say the Bells of St. Margaret's

"Brickbats and Tiles" say the Bells of St. Giles

"Halfpence and Farthings" say the Bells of St. Martin's

"Pancakes and Fritters" say the Bells of St. Peter's

"Two Sticks and an Apple" say the Bells of Whitechapel

"Maids in white aprons" say the Bells at St. Katherine's

"Pokers and Tongs" say the Bells of St. John's

"Kettles and Pans" say the Bells of St. Anne's

"Old Father Baldpate" say the slow Bells of Aldgate

"You owe me Ten Shillings" say the Bells of St. Helen's

"When will you Pay me?" say the Bells of Old Bailey

"When I grow Rich" say the Bells of Shoreditch

"Pray when will that be?" say the Bells of Stepney

"I do not know" say the Great Bell of Bow

Gay go up and gay go down
To Ring the Bells of London Town

The Bells of Whitechapel

Nursery Rhymes - Lost Lyrics and Origins
Nursery Rhyme Index
Back to Rhyme

Note: A Rhymes lyrics and the perceived origins of some Nursery Rhymes vary according to location

Privacy Statement

Cookie Policy

2017 Siteseen Ltd