Plaque

The Bun House

Inscription

The Bun House
Over the bar of "The Widow's Son" in Devons Road, Bow, hangs a cluster of Hot Cross Buns.

On Good Friday a sailor will add a new bun to the collection.

126 years ago a widowed mother, expecting her sailor son home from sea at Easter, saved a Hot Cross Bun for him. He never returned, but for the rest of her life she hung up a bun every Good Friday.

Since she died the custom has been faithfully observed.

The pub was established in 1848 and initially we assumed the widow was the innkeeper's wife.

Then we found a 2013 article in the Romford Recorder that explains that the pub stands on the site of the widow's cottage, and celebrating the 200th anniversary of the bun-hanging: "Tradition has it that the widow refused to believe her son was lost at sea during the Napoleonic Wars and would have a new bun waiting for him every Easter, adding to those she had kept from previous years. When she eventually died, the buns were found hanging from a beam in her cottage. The pub opened on the site in 1848, with the hot cross bun tradition that has been upheld by successive landlords ever since."

The "126 years" on the plaque must have been copied from a previous plaque since it only takes us back to 1898, and the Napoleonic Wars ended in 1815.

Site: The Bun House (1 memorial)

E3, Devons Road, 75, The Widow's Son

Diamond Geezer brought this memorial to our attention. The plaque is on the side elevation and can be seen in our photo, to the left of the telegraph pole.

We like plaques to have names and dates; without these the story behind the memorial might be apocryphal, constructed and enhanced over time, with minimal basis in fact.

2024: Diamond Geezer pointed out that "it's not been a pub since 2022".  Wonder what happened to all the buns.

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