Leamington Spa, St Peter (Roman Catholic), Warwickshire

Leamington Spa (RC) Bells: 8; 16-0-4 in F. Rung for special occasions only
Grid Reference: 151/316657
Postcode: CV32 5BB
District: Warwick
Peals: None
Recording:
Practice Night: None
Service Ringing: Special Occasions
Recommended Pub: Benjamin Satchwell, 112-114 The Parade, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 4AQ. Te: 01926 883733
Jug and Jester, 11 Bath Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 3AF. Tel: 01926 331820
Somerville Arms, 4 Campion Terrace, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 4SX. Tel: 01926 426746
Talbot Inn, 34 Rushmore St, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV31 1JA. Tel: 01926 424857
Contacts: Simon E Adams 7, Farnol Road, Yardley, Birmingham B26 2AE. Tel: 0121 786 1242 or 07969182277 Click to Email

History Of The Bells

In Dormer Place, you can see this church from the steps at the west of the parish church, but on the other side of the river. Of brick construction, the tower is only connected to the main church via a low entrance corridor and as the bells are hung right at the top of it they are extremely difficult to ring due to the large amount tower movement. This can be clearly felt in the tower, even at its lower stages when the bells are rung. This is a pity as they are a magnificent sounding ring of bells.

Perhaps there will be a solution at stage in the future, but at present these bells are only rung on important church occasions, around once a month. Experienced ringers find these bells very difficult to handle, as one bell being allow to "drop", for instance, can affect other bells, and therefore the inexperienced are, regrettably but understandibly, not encouraged to ring here.

The tower was not built when the church was opened in 1864. It was eventually built in 1877-8, at the cost of Miss France who contributed generously to the building of the church itself. It is within the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham. The current bells replace a ring of six (tenor 14-1-8) cast by William Blews of Birmingham in 1877. The Blews bells cost £562 and were in poor order by 1903. The order for recasting them by Taylors was in hand towards the end of 1905. Within a matter of weeks before the planned dedication on November 16th, the Parish ordered 2 trebles to make up the eight. The works, apparently, had only 15 days to complete them! They are hung in a two tier frame, (bells 1, 2 & 5 above). The tenor was rehung on ball bearings by Taylors in 1931. They are a fairly tight squeeze. These bells have been mainly chimed (rather than rung) since an Ellacombe chiming apparatus was installed by Taylors in 1955.

An angelus bell was installed in 2005, the gift of Fr. David Cawley, originally cast for Mount St Bernard Abbey in Leicester. It was displaced by the present massive two bells in 1939.

The following article is contemporary with the casting of the first ring

The New Peal Of Bells. Reported in the Birmingham Daily Post, The Birmingham Daily Gazette, and the Sutton & Erdington News (Oct 31st 1878 & Nov 2nd 1878)

CONSECRATION OF THE BELLS.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH, LEAMINGTON.

The ceremony of the blessing of the new peal of bells which are about to be erected in the tower of this church (recently completed from the designs of Mr. Henry Clutton of London), was celebrated on Wednesday afternoon (30th Oct) by the Hon. and Rev. Wm. CLIFFORD D.D., Bishop of Clifton, deputed by Dr. ULLATHORNE, Bishop of Birmingham, assisted by Cannon O'SULLIVAN, Vicar General of the Diocese of Birmingham, Cannon JEFFRIES of Leamington, Cannon LONGMAN, the Rev. V. CAVE and other clergy.

The bells were founded by Messers Wm. Blews of Birmingham, and they form a sister peal to that recently erected by them at Erdington Abbey.

The weight of the peal is around 58cwt and they cost £562, with £120 for the massive strong woodwork from which they hang.

The bells are cast from Lake Superior copper and refined tin, and they are considered very sweet and powerful in tone.

(By 1903 these bells were out of order.)

Details Of The Bells
1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1905 4-3-15 26.625" 1444.0Hz (F#-43c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1905 5-0-11 27.625" 1359.0Hz (E#-47c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1905 5-2-03 29.50" 1210.0Hz (D#-49c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1905 6-0-27 31.50" 1081.0Hz (C#-44c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1905 7-1-18 34.00" 961.0Hz (B-48c)
6 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1905 8-0-00 35.50" 904.0Hz (A+47c)
7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1905 11-1-26 39.50" 809.5Hz (G#-45c)
8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1905 16-0-04 44.50" 720.0Hz F#-47c)
(or F-2c  Old Concert Pitch)

A video by Paul Kibblewhite showing the effects of tower movement.
Note how the gudgeon moves in and out of the plain bearing housing.
Also by Paul. Watch the bottle of water at 2'35".