Named after the adjacent 11thCentury St Mary-le-Bow church, which gets its name from the arches in its Norman crypt. The church was originally called St Mary-de-Arcubus. The Old English word being boga meaning bow or arch. This was previously called Hosier Lane after the local stocking making trade, and prior to that, in 1230, Cordewanerestrete, a reference to the workers in cordovan leather used for making high-quality shoes. The importance of this trade at the time is clear by the fact that one of the City wards, Cordwainer Ward, is named after it. Bow Lane was recorded as Bowlane in 1485 and Bowe Lane in 1537.
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