Stepney, England — Our Sister City
The Crest — Stepney, England (continued)
The Shield: Is located in the lower portion of the crest and in it is a Silver and black lymphad or ancient single-masted ship with the sail furled, on sea waves. It is the base-symbol of the seafaring associations of Stepney. On a blue chief, or upper part of the shield, are two silver fire tongs standing erect, and between them is a red cross having an anchor in the first quadrant. The fire tongs are emblems of St. Dunstan, (as noted in the Legends of Dunstan above), who is the patron saint of Stepney and also the patron saint of metalworkers. The cross is similar to the St. George’s cross of the City of London, but in the first quadrant is an anchor instead of the usual sword of St. Paul.
Brief History of Stepney, England
The ancient name of Stepney takes its shape and appears in history in the eleventh century around 1080. The name appears under the form Stebenheth, given as Stephen’s hede (Stehpen’s landing place). Steb being Saxon and Hede or hyth being stump or timber landing. At that time the shores of the Thames River were covered with rich timber forests. The Stepney area was formerly of immense extent, including all London east of the City, south of Hackney, north of the Thames and west of the River Lea, except the parish of Bow. Stepney Marsh now the Isle of Dogs was also apart of this Stepney Parish. People lived in the heart of Stepney village since about a thousand years before the birth of Christ. It was a good place to settle, ideal for cultivation standing on fertile flood plain gravel high enough above the river to be safe. Stepney’s history properly began with the Saxons who settled near the river and gave the village its name.