Walsgrave on Sowe, St Mary, West Midlands

Walsgrave Bells: 6; 6-1-15 in B
Grid Reference: 140/379808
Postcode: CV2 2AW
District: Coventry
Peals: Felstead Database
Recording:
Practice Night: Monday 7:30pm-9:00pm (Check)
Service Ringing: By arrangement
Recommended Pub: The Red Lion, Ansty Rd, Coventry, West Midlands CV2 2EY Tel: 024 7661 2168
Contact: Alexander Guest  Click to Email
Rev M Tyler, St Mary's Church and Parish Centre, Hall Lane, Walsgrave, Coventry CV2 2AW Tel: 024 7661 5152 Email

History of the Bells

The bells at this church were an unringable 7½cwt 5 for many years until in mid 1980s when they were recast and rehung. A peal of Bob Doubles was rung on the bells in 23/4/1927. It was noted at this time that the ringing conditions were difficult, suggesting that for over 60 years the bells were in need of attention.

The inscriptions on the old bells were repeated in facsimile on the new ones. One is ?Harke doe ye heare our claperes want beer? and the other "Quantum suffiifit bibiere volo clancula vos a" - not easy to translate from Latin, but clearly a reference to the beer-drinking habits of bellringers!. The trebles wwere Taylor of Oxford bells of 1843, the third a Taylor of Loughborough bell of 1872, the fourth and tenor were William Bagley bells of 1702.

The old frame was of late Seventeenth Century in date, built originally for four bells, with a square void in the middle. When the bells were augmented to 5 in 1843 the pit of the second bell was turned altered to accommodate the five bells. This frame was originally re-erected in the churchyard when the completely new installation was provided, but has subsequently had to be be demolished due to the activities of local youths in the churchyard.

The new H-frame and fittings are typical Taylors of the period.

There is an old post with 4 bell call changes on it in the tower that shows they were once an anticlockwise 4. See Chris Pickford's article which is in Ringing World of 20/27 December 1985 pp.1078-80 for fuller details.

The church, situated in a village that has gradually been absorbed to a large degree by Coventry, is on the A4600, the main dual-carriageway road from Junction 2 of the M6 towards Coventry and is near to Walsgrave Hospital and hence most nearby streets have parking restrictions .It is usually best to park in the pub car park, The Red Lion just after the church. Take your parking ticket to the bar for a discount of your post-ring refreshments! The church is small but pretty, with a sympathetic modern extension on the south side, through which entry is normally gained. The "Sowe" in the title is a small river that flows nearby. 

The Warwick University ringers started to practice here at the beginning of 2015. The ringers are aiming to practice throughout the year, but visitors are advised to check first that a given practice will take place.

Details of the Bells
1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1984 2-2-04 22.375" 1682.0Hz (G#+22c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1984 3-1-08 24.00" 1492.0Hz (F#+14c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1984 3-1-09 24.875" 1325.0Hz (E+9c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1984 3-3-00 26.00" 1251.0Hz (D#+9c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1984 4-1-23 28.50" 1111.0Hz (C#+4c)
6 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1984 6-1-15 32.125" 986.0Hz (B-3c)

 

Wappenbury, St John the Baptist, Warwickshire

Wappenbury Bells: 3; 10cwt in G, Anticlockwise - UNRINGABLE
Grid Reference: 151/377693
Postcode: CV33 9DW
District: Warwick
Peals: None
Practice Night: None
Service Ringing: None
Recommended Pub: There is no pub in the village - suggest you pop into Leamington Spa
Contact: Rev Tim Britton, The Vicarage, Leamington Rd, Long Itchington, Southam CV47 9PL Tel. 01926 812518 Click to Email

History of the Bells

These bells are unringable due to the fragility of ancient fittings. They hang in an oak frame probably from the second or third quarter of the Seventeenth century. There are three parallel pits and the bells all swing East to West. From North to South the bells hang in the pits in the order 1, 3 then 2. Roping of the bells means that they are a clockwise three. The bells still have their canons and have not been turned.

Details of the Bells
1 Bryan Eldridge, Coventry 1657 6¾cwt 33.625" 989.0Hz (B+2c)
2 Newcombe, Leicester c.1600? 8cwt 36.00" 871.0Hz (A-18c)
3 Hugh Watts II, Leicester 1629 10cwt 38.75" 779.0Hz (G-11c)

 

Warwick, St Mary, Warwickshire

Warwick St Mary Bells: 10, 24-3-20 in D
Grid Reference: 151/282650
Postcode: CV34 4AB
District: Warwick
Peals: Felstead Database
Recording:
Practice Night: Wednesday 7:30pm-9:00pm (1 & 3. Check which tower on 5th)
Service Ringing: 10:00-10.30am (except 1st which is 9.00-9.30am)  & 5.45-6.30pm
Recommended Pub: The Punch Bowl, 1 The Butts, Warwick, CV34 4SS Tel: 01926 403846
Contact: Mr G W Randall, 63 Cliffe Way, Warwick CV34 5JG Click to Email

The Warwick band of ringers has over 15 members ranging from those new to the art to regular peal ringers.

New members, including beginners, are always gladly received into the band. Teaching sessions for beginners are run at St Nicholas by experienced tutors at mutually convenient times. Why not contact the ringers and arrange a taster session?

Visitors of all abilities are welcome to join the band for practice and service ringing. Ringing is always tailored to the abilities of those present. Typically at St Mary’s the methods rung are Stedman and Surprise Royal; on Sunday mornings Surprise Minor and doubles methods are normal. At St Nicholas the band concentrates on Stedman and standard Surprise Major methods. Plain methods and call changes are also rung at both towers.

History of the Bells

An historic church that is one anyone should stop a while and visit. The Beauchamp Chapel is beautiful. The tower stands stands out for miles around and is unusual in that you can drive underneath it (if the post in the road has been removed!) The story is that on re-building the church after the "Fire of Warwick" of 1694 it was found that the design for the tower to rise flush with the west wall was not strong enough and therefore is was built on four massive piers, the tower door being in the north-east pier.

In 1552 there were "v belles" and by 1656 a treble had been added. Tilley & Walters state that the treble had no inscription, the second was probably by Newcombe, the third was cast in Worcester, the 5th in Nottingham. The fourth and tenor was Isabella Despenser, Countess of Warwick who died in 1439 foundress of the Beauchamp Chapel. They became a ring of eight here in 1656 when the old tenor was recast into three trebles at Coventry by Bryan Eldridge. All were destroyed in the Great Fire of Warwick.

Abraham Rudhall was contracted to provide a new ring of eight which were delivered in 1702, but in the following year two more bells were added to make ten. The tenor was first recast in 1725 and recast again by Mears in 1814, its frequency now equating to D-34c. There was a major restoration in 1901 that involved the recasting of 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 & 8. Before this restoration they were an anticlockwise 10.

Cast iron frame and fittings are by Taylors, 1901. The back four were hung on ball bearings by Arthur Fidler in 1979 and numbers 4, 5 & 6 in 1981 by the same person. The rest will be rehung on ball bearings by Taylors during 2008. The Taylor bells were all cast with flat tops and the canons have been remove from the others. Tonally they are a grand ring, but, despite being anything but "too difficult to handle", do take some ringing to get the best out of them, due to tower sway.

A bell that survived the great fire of Warwick was rehung. It was cast in 1671 by a Mr Henry Bagley at a cost of 25 shillings. It is believed that the bell originally was hung in the chapel and so separately from the tower bells which crashed to the ground in the fire. The bell loitered in the crypt for 75 years or so before it was cleaned and rehung above the main bells in 1976. It has a distinctive shape and its sound was described as harsh and rather unmusical and for a few years it was chimed as a service bell. When mobile phone aerials were installed in the bell chamber this old bell was removed and can now be seen once more in the crypt.

There is a "carillon" that plays a different tune each day on the bells. Some tunes require the same note to be quickly repeated and this means that several bells have more than one chiming hammer. It chimes on the hour, every three hours, between 9am and 9pm.  It was last restored in 2013.  An article written for the church magazine by local ringer David Leafe can be read by clicking here

Details of the Bells
1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1901 4-2-19 27.00" 1451.0Hz (F#-34c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1901 5-0-07 28.125" 1296.0Hz (E-29c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1901 5-3-04 29.875" 1154.0Hz (D-31c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1901 6-1-14 31.25" 1086.0Hz (C#-36c)
5 Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester 1702 7-1-20 33.75" 966.0Hz (B-39c)
6 Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester 1702 9-2-02 37.625" 864.0Hz (A-32c)
7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1901 11-1-11 40.125" 769.0Hz (G-33c)
8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1901 13-1-11 42.50" 723.0Hz (F#-40c)
9 Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester 1702 18-0-21 48.00" 647.5Hz (E-31c)
10 Thomas Mears II 1814 24-3-20 54.375" 576.0Hz (D-34c)

 

Warwick St Nicholas, Warwickshire

Warwick St Nicholas Bells: 8; 15-2-20 in F
Grid Reference: 151/286649
Postcode: CV34 4JD
District: Warwick
Peals: Felstead Database
Recording:
Practice Night: Wednesday 7.30 - 9.00pm (2 & 4. Check which tower on 5th) 
Service Ringing: 9.30 -10.00am
Recommended Pub The Punch Bowl, 1 The Butts, Warwick, CV34 4SS. Tel: 01926 403846
The Wild Boar, 27 Lakin Rd, Warwick, CV34 5BU Tel: 01926 499968.
New Bowling Green 13 St Nicholas Church Street, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV34 4JD Tel: 01926 411470.
Contact: Mr G W Randall, 63 Cliffe Way, Warwick CV34 5JG Click to Email

The Warwick band of ringers has over 15 members ranging from those new to the art to regular peal ringers.

New members, including beginners, are always gladly received into the band. Teaching sessions for beginners are run at St Nicholas by experienced tutors at mutually convenient times. Why not contact the ringers and arrange a taster session?

Visitors of all abilities are welcome to join the band for practice and service ringing. Ringing is always tailored to the abilities of those present. Typically at St Mary’s the methods rung are Stedman and Surprise Royal; on Sunday mornings Surprise Minor and doubles methods are normal. At St Nicholas the band concentrates on Stedman and standard Surprise Major methods. Plain methods and call changes are also rung at both towers.

History of the Bells

The bells here were unringable for about 30 years until being recast and rehung in a new cast iron lowside frame by Taylors in 1957. These were a ring of 6 by Richard Keene, 1695. The treble and tenor were recast by Matthew Bagley in 1770 & 1773. The fifth was recast by Edward Arnold in 1798. The third was recast by C & G Mears in 1849 and the treble again was recast in 1877 by Mears and Stainbank. The ring was made into an octave a decade later.

Tilley & Walters note that there were 5 bells by 1552. The 3rd and 4th were recast in 1554-59 by Newcombe of Leicester and there were other, unspecified, recasts in 1561, 1562 and 1565. In 1571 another bell was recast. Another bell, the 4th, was recast by Dankes and Baker in 1619. All went quiet until 1695!

They are an excellent ring of 8 that is popular with peal ringers. Recently there has been adjustable sound control added and this should maintain this church's position as the leading pealed tower in the Coventry Diocese.

This church is easily spotted when coming from the Coventry side of town. It has a spire and is set on the opposite side of a roundabout to the corner of the castle walls. Limited parking is available for cars in the churchyard, enter along St Nicholas Church Street. There is a pay and display car park round to the left at the roundabout at the end of the street. Entry is by the tower stairs on the north side. 

Details of the Bells
1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1957 4-1-13 26.00" 1401.0Hz (F+5c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1957 5-0-04 27.125" 1321.0Hz (E+3c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1957 5-0-12 28.00" 1173.0Hz (D-2c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1957 5-1-27 30.375" 1044.0Hz (C-4c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1957 6-1-11 32.50" 928.0Hz (Bb-8c)
6 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1957 7-3-15 34.875" 875.0Hz (A-10c)
7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1957 11-0-12 39.00" 775.5Hz (G-19c)
8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1957 15-2-20 43.875" 691.0Hz (F-19c)

 

Wellesbourne, St Peter, Warwickshire

Wellesbourne Bells: 8; 10-0-24 in G (GF)
Grid Reference: 151/277556
Postcode: CV35 9LT
District: Warwick
Peals: Felstead Database
Recording:
Practice Night: Thursday 7:45pm-9:00pm
Service Ringing: Sunday 9:45am-10:15am; 5:45pm-6:30pm
Recommended Pub: The Kings Head, Warwick Rd, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire, CV35 9LX Tel: 01789 840206 or
The Stags Head, 1 Chestnut Square, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire, CV35 9QS Tel: 01789 840266
Contact: Mr P Quinn, 22 Mountford Close, Wellesbourne, Warwick CV35 9QQ Click to Email

History of the Bells

One of many nice villages in South Warwickshire, a few miles down the A429 from its junction with the M40. The part of the village which contains the church is sometimes known as Wellesbourne Hastings - though you will not find a sign saying so! The church is well kept and has useful church rooms to the side.

The back six bells, a listed set of bells,  are a complete ring of 6 by Henry Bagley II of Chacombe. Bells 3 & 6 had been chip tuned prior to the ring being rehung and tuned and  by Taylors in 1955. The frame and fittings, including canon-retaining headstocks, are by Taylors, also 1955 at which point in time they quarter turned the bells. The back six retain their canons, but one of the double canons on the third, now fifth, is broken. The Taylors bells were cast with flat tops.

Two trebles were added in 1981 to celebrate their tercentenary of the ring of six. These were cast using metal from the tenor of the old three at Winderton, a redundant Chapel of Ease in Brailes parish.

The back six are the second oldest complete six after Martley in Worcestershire. The oldest is St Swithin's in Worcester, but these ware not all cast at one time.

Details of the Bells
1 John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd, Loughborough 1981 3-3-07 24.875" 1592.0Hz (G+26c)
2 John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd, Loughborough 1981 4-1-20 26.00" 1506.0Hz (F#+30c)
3 Henry Bagley II, Chacombe 1681 4-1-22 27.25" 1339.0Hz (E+27c)
4 Henry Bagley II, Chacombe 1681 4-2-02 28.375" 1193.0Hz (D+27c)
5 Henry Bagley II, Chacombe 1681 5-1-19 30.50" 1062.0Hz (C+25c)
6 Henry Bagley II, Chacombe 1681 6-0-12 32.25" 1003.0Hz (B+26c)
7 Henry Bagley II, Chacombe 1681 7-1-26 34.875" 895.0Hz (A+29c)
8 Henry Bagley II, Chacombe 1681 10-0-24 38.625" 795.0Hz (G+24c)

 

Weston Under Wetherley, St Michael, Warwickshire

Weston under Wetherley Bells: 4; 8cwt in A - UNRINGABLE
Grid Reference: 151/360692
Postcode: CV33 9BY
District: Warwick
Peals: None
Practice Night: None
Service Ringing: None
Recommended Pub: The Bull Inn, Rugby Rd, Weston Under Wetherley, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV33 9BP. Tel: 01926 632392
Contact: Rev. Tim Britton, The Vicarage, Leamington Road, Long Itchington, Southam, CV47 9PL

History of the Bells

These bells are very unringable, but the frame and fittings are of some historic interest and should be treated with care if the bells are ever to be restored. The bells hang in a seventeenth century oak frame built for four bells; it dates from about 1640. The stocks are possibly contemporary, but the wheels, clappers and some of the supporting ironwork were renewed in the early nineteenth century.

Bells two & three are badly cracked from the soundbow to the waist, due to being "clocked". This is a real pity as they are two of only three existing bells by this founder. Church Bells of Warwickshire says that the second was cracked as far back as 1830. The treble and tenor are said to be able to be swing chimed. All the bells bar the treble are "listed".

All the bells retain their canons and none have been quarter turned. The notes of the treble and tenor are D and A respectively, those of the middle bells are too badly cracked to check if they form the missing notes of the scale accurately.  

Details of the Bells
1 Hugh Watts II, Leicester 1624 4½cwt 27.50" 1193.5Hz (D+28c) 
2 Galfridus (Geoffrey) Giles, Coventry 1583 5cwt 29.00"    
3 Galfridus (Geoffrey) Giles, Coventry 1583 6cwt 31.625"    
4 Watts, Leicester (Generic) c.1592 7½cwt 34.50"  868.0Hz (A-24c)

 

Whatcote, St Peter, Warwickshire

Whatcote Bells: 3; 6cwt in C
Grid Reference: 151/298445
Postcode: CV36 5EB
District: Warwick
Peals: None
Recording:
Practice Night: None
Service Ringing: None
Recommended Pub: The Royal Oak, Rectory Lane, Whatcote, Warwickshire, CV35 5EF. Tel: 01295 680319
Contact: Rev Canon N J Morgan, The Vicarage, Lower Brailes, Banbury, OX15 5HT
Phil Wreford Churchwarden Tel 01295 680294

History Of The Bells

The treble bell is a recast of Henry Bagley bell of 1652 and the tenor a recast of Matthew Bagley bell of 1766. The bells hang in a 16th century frame for three; fittings are 1878 by Blews. Formerly a ring of four (two in the centre pit). One bell is rumoured to have gone to Ildicote, (25" Henry Bagley, 1636), though the fact that it has the churchwardens' names for Idlicote as part of the inscription tends to discount this. The bells all retain their canons and the second alone has been quarter turned.

The bells were tightened and successfully rung, with due permissions, on 10/02/01 by John Greenhough and Matt Smith. They have been rung again since, by the 3 & 4 Bell Society and quarter pealed in 2001. Until recently these bells were rung from the ground floor

The church is near the village centre - down Church Lane.

Details of the Bells
1 William Blews, Birmingham 1878 3¾cwt 25.00" 1380.0Hz (F-21c)
2 John Clark, Evesham 1711 4½cwt 27.25" 1215.5Hz (Eb-41c)
3 Henry Bond, Burford 1897 6cwt 31.25" 1065.0Hz (C+30c)

 

Whichford, St Michael, Warwickshire

Whichford Bells: 8; 12-3-23 in G (GF)
Grid Reference: 151/312346
Postcode: CV36 5PG
District: Warwick
Peals: Felstead Database
Recording:
Practice Night: Tuesday 7:30pm-9:00pm (2nd & 4th Tuesday, others at Long Compton)
Service Ringing: Not Known
Recommended Pub: The Norman Knight, Ascott Road, Whichford, CV36 5PE (opposite the village green) Tel: 01608 684621
(There are pitches for 5 caravans at this pub - see the website for details)
Contact: Peter Kenealy, Marsh Farm, Oakfield Manor, Shipston-on-Stour, CV36 5HG Click to Email

History of the Bells

Set right in the south of the Diocese, these bells were rehung in an 6 bell frame, set up to allow for 8 in 1904, many years followed this before the two trebles were added, (in 1998). They go well and sound likewise.

The sixth is the sole survivor of a ring of five bells that was put up in 1695. By 1890 there were 5 bells, four by Bagley and a Taylor of Oxford tenor, it being a recast in 1848 of the Bagley tenor bell. A new clock and treble bell were given by Robert Wincott of Ascott (a hamlet within the parish) in 1891, the bell being by Gillett and Johnston of Croydon and weighing 4-0-21.

In 1904 Taylors incorporated the two tenors into a new, remodelled, ring of 6, recasting the other four and making the ring heavier. The bells were hung in a cast iron H-frame set out for 8 bells and the old bells were quarter turned. This was done using the money from a donation of £300 for "improving the bells" from Richard Badger, Esq of Eastbourne in Sussex, formerly of Shipston on Stour.

There is a 13.50" Sanctus bell of 1706 by William Bagley. It alone has canons, those on 6 & 7 having been removed and the others cast with flat tops. Note that the sixth is lighter than both the fourth and fifth.

The 6 "original" bells that were still on plain bearings were put onto ball bearings in early 2003.

Enter by the west door of the tower, not via the church itself. Park in the road beside the church.

Details of the Bells
1 John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd, Loughborough 1998 3-2-00 24.50" 1533.0Hz (G-39c)
2 John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd, Loughborough 1998 3-2-23 25.125" 1440.0Hz (F#-47c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1904 4-1-01 27.25" 1286.0Hz (E-43c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1904 5-0-01 29.06" 1152.0Hz (D-34c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1904 5-3-20 31.625" 1025.0Hz (C-36c)
6 William Bagley, Chacombe 1695 4-3-26 31.25" 964.0Hz (B-42c)
7 William Taylor, Oxford 1848 6-2-08 35.125" 864.0Hz (A-32c)
8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1904 12-3-23 41.75" 768.0Hz (G-36c)

 

Whitnash, St Margaret, Warwickshire - Ringing suspended June 16th - Early October 2017 due to roof renovations

Whitnash Bells: 8; 10-1-15 in G
Grid Reference: 151/328637
Postcode: CV31 2HH
District: Warwick
Peals: Felstead Database
Recording:
Practice Night: Friday 7:30pm-9:00pm
Service Ringing: Sunday 9:30am-9.55am & 6:00pm-6.25pm
Recommended Pub: The Plough and Harrow, Whitnash Road, Whitnash, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire CV31 2HX. Tel: 01926 337778
Contact: Mr Tom Houghton 21 Stephenson Close, Leamington Spa CV32 6BS Click to Email

History of the Bells

On the way out of Leamington Spa, this is a nice village with a church that has been sympathetically extended in recent years.

The bells go well. Frame and fittings are by Taylors, 1969 when the then 6 bells were retuned, rehung and augmented to 8. Two bells by Matthew Bagley of Chacombe dated 1680 were intact at the time of this restoration. To these had been added a treble and two tenors by Taylors in 1892 to make a ring of 5. (The vicar had asked Carrs, Blews, Warners, Llewellins & James for quotes in 1887. Taylors won the contract and at the same time convinced the church to go beyond its original intention to fill the one vacant pit in the existing three-bell wooden frame). Taylors added a further treble to make 6 in 1896. Two more trebles were added in 1969, at which time the bells were retuned and rehung.

Both Bagley bells became cracked subsequently, necessitating recasting - the sixth in 1980 (was 5-1-12) and the fifth in 1984 (was 4-3-0). The bells hang in a two tier cast iron frame with the third and fifth in the upper lowsided frame and the others below in an H frame. The frequency of the tenor is now know and it equates to G+44c and therefore the bells are not in the previously noted key of Ab.

Park in front of the church and enter through the main south door and hence to the tower.

Details of the Bells
1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1969 3-0-03 23.50" 1609.0Hz (G+45c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1969 3-1-11 24.50" 1520.0Hz (F#+46c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1896 4-0-04 26.375" 1355.0Hz (E+47c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1892 4-1-08 27.625" 1205.0Hz (D+44c)
5 John Taylor & Co (Bellfounders) Ltd., Loughborough 1984 5-0-20 29.50" 1075.0Hz (C+47c)
6 John Taylor & Co (Bellfounders) Ltd., Loughborough 1980 6-0-26 31.50" 1012.0Hz (B+42c)
7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1892 8-0-13 34.50" 903.0Hz (A+45c)
8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1892 10-3-05 38.75" 804.0Hz (G+44c)

 

Willey, St Leonard, Warwickshire
Willey Bells: 3; 4½cwt in B - UNRINGABLE
Grid Reference: 140/496847
Postcode: CV23 0SJ
District: Rugby
Peals: None
Practice Night: None
Service Ringing: None
Recommended Pub: The Sarah Mansfield, Main Street, Willey, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 0SH. Tel: 01455 553133
Contact: Living Vacant

History Of The Bells

A church of the C14 and C15, with a small tower at the west end. It was restored between 1880 and 1885 at the expense of the Rector and Patron, the Rev. F. Morgan Payler. The architect was Walter F. Lyon of London, and Messrs. Law & King of Lutterworth were the contractors. Completed in 1880-81, the restoration of the tower and the rehanging of the bells came first. The restoration of the rest of the church followed later, in 1884-5. The reopening took place on 16 June 1885.

THESE BELLS ARE BOTH UNRINGABLE AND UNSAFE. The ropes have been removed to prevent ringing and replacements should not be fitted.

The bells were last rehung in 1881. Inspections by Taylors and Whitechapel in 1930 both recommended a complete rehang. The oak frame design is poor. All bells retain their canons and have not been turned. Notes, treble to tenor, are E, D and B

Details of the Bells
1 Bryan Eldridge, Coventry 1658 2¾cwt 23.75" 1300.5Hz (E-24c)
2 Thomas Eayre I, Kettering 1730 3-1-15 25.75" 1167.0Hz (D-11c)
3 Hugh Watts II, Leicester 1617 4½cwt 29.50" 995.0Hz (B+13c)

 

Willoughby, St Nicholas, Warwickshire

Willoughby Bells: 6; 14-2-0 in F (GF)
Grid Reference: 151/516675
Postcode: CV23 8BY
District: Rugby
Peals: Felstead Database
Recording:
Practice Night: None
Service Ringing: None
Recommended Pub: The Rose Inn, Main Street, Willoughby, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 8BH. Tel: 01788 891180
Contact: Rev Jane Close, The Vicarage, Lower Street, Willoughby, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 8BX. Tel 01788 899226

History of the Bells

This is the last tower in the Diocese before Northamptonshire brings in the Peterborough Diocese. Set in a pleasant rural setting the bells do take a little bit of ringing, but are by no means unringable.

Originally a complete Smith ring of six, cast out of the four bells then in the tower. The tenor was recast at Whitechapel in 1781 and is one of the few bells cast at the time when William Chapman was the sole head of the business. The second, third and fourth bells are much better sounding than the treble and fifth, even though all are untuned. The current frame was installed in 1820 by a Mr Ward at a cost of over £100. It was strengthened in 1926 when the bells were rehung by Mears & Stainbank, probably reusing the old headstocks.

All the bells retain their canons, have been quarter turned and the Smith bells are "listed".

Some relatively minor work to items such as clappers, pullies and flapper boards was carried out by Taylors in September 2013 and this has improved the go of the bells noticeably. A new band of ringers has recently been formed and the bells are being rung again. A rope guide was installed by Taylors in November 2016 to make the bells easier to handle.

Park in the road outside and enter by the north door.  

Details of the Bells
1 Joseph Smith, Edgbaston 1713 5cwt 30.325" 1179.0Hz (D+6c)
2 Joseph Smith, Edgbaston 1713 5½cwt 31.50" 1057.0Hz (C+17c)
3 Joseph Smith, Edgbaston 1713 6½cwt 33.25" 946.0Hz (Bb-21c)
4 Joseph Smith, Edgbaston 1713 7cwt 34.25" 899.0Hz (A+37c)
5 Joseph Smith, Edgbaston 1713 10cwt 38.00" 792.0Hz (G+18c)
6 William Chapman, London 1781 14½cwt 43.50" 707.0Hz (F+21c)

 

Withybrook, All Saints, Warwickshire

Withybrook Bells: 4; 8cwt in Ab (GF)
Grid Reference: 140/437841
Postcode: CV7 9LP
District: Coventry
Peals: None
Practice Night: Not Known
Service Ringing: Not Known
Recommended Pub: The Pheasant, Main Street, Withybrook, Coventry, West Midlands, CV7 9LT. Tel: 01455 220 480
Contact: Gerald Trevor 11 Hall Lane, Wolvey, Nr Hinckley, Leics LE10 3LF

History of the Bells

A delightful village setting by a stream. Find the church on a 90 degree bend on the main road, behind the Pheasant Pub, (that is worth visiting in itself). Leave your car here as the narrow road down the right side of the pub to the church has no parking or turning space at the end.

The bells are an old fashioned set that did take some ringing, but were by no means unringable. They have recently had a fine iron rope guide added and the pullies overhauled and therefore go a bit better than previously. They hang in an oak frame from c.1820, with fittings by Barwell, 1907. The three cracked trebles, Robert(?) Newcombe of Leicester, 1582, Bryan Eldridge of Coventry, 1656 and John Martin of Worcester, 1654 were all recast at this time. Tilley and Walters state that these bells were cracked, the second and third being so by 1876. The treble was one of the earliest dated bells in the county. The tenor retains its canons and has been quarter turned, the others were cast with flat tops.

The 15th Century tower is, unusually, on the North-West side of the church. There is also an unusual Easter Sepulchre beside the altar - the host and wine used in mediaeval times be "buried" in it between Good Friday and Easter Sunday Entry is via the south door. If you want to go up to the bells be careful as the stairs are rather worn.

Details of the Bells
1 James Barwell & Co, Birmingham 1907 4cwt 28.25" 1148.0Hz (Db+60c)
2 James Barwell & Co, Birmingham 1907 5½cwt 29.00" 1081.0Hz (C+56c)
3 James Barwell & Co, Birmingham 1907 6cwt 33.00" 960.0Hz (Bb+51c)
4 Newcombe, Leicester 1612 8cwt 36.50" 850.0Hz (Ab+40c)

Inscriptions
1 BARWELL   FOUNDER   BIRMINGHAM
Waist: CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT OF HAPPISFORD ESQUIRE 1582 / RECAST 1907
2 BARWELL   FOUNDER   BIRMINGHAM
Waist: BRYANVS ELDRIDGE ME FECIT 1656 /  RECAST 1907 / IN MEMORIAM A.C. DALZIEL ESQ: OF IRVINE. N.B.
3 BARWELL   FOUNDER   BIRMINGHAM
Waist:  SOLI DEO GLORIA PAX HOMINIBVS 1654 / RECAST 1907
4 +  BE · YT · KNOWNE · TO · ALL · THAT · DOTH · ME · SEE · THAT · NEWCOMBE · OF · LEICESTER · MADE · MEE ·  1612 (vine border)

 

Wolston, St Margaret, Warwickshire

Wolston Bells: 8; 11-0-2 in Ab (GF) Rung from Chancel
Grid Reference: 140/409757
Postcode: CV8 3HP
District: Rugby
Peals: Felstead Database
Recording:
Practice Night: Monday 7:45pm-9:00pm (by arrangement)
Service Ringing: Sunday 10:30am-11:00am (by arrangement)
Recommended Pub: The Rose and Crown, 28 Main Street, Wolston, Coventry, West Midlands, CV8 3HJ. Tel: 024 7654 1248
Contact: The Parish Secretary, St Margaret's Church Office, c/o The Baptist Church, 2 Main Street, Wolston, Coventry, CV8 3HJ. Tel: 024 7654 2722. Email:

History of the Bells

Near to, but definitely apart from, Coventry to the west of the city, this is a very pretty village. Look carefully for the sign over a small bridge to the church off the main road through the village. You will find a church with a Norman central tower.

There might have been six bells here before the partial collapse of the tower in 1759, but the source, the Browne Willis Survey, has been shown to be often unreliable. Certainly there were only three bells here in 1894 when the bells were rehung and eighth turned and a treble was added to make four. The front three of this ring remain as bells five, six and seven.

The bells remained a ringable four until 1982 when they were rehung and augmented to 8. There was enough bellmetal remaining from the former ring of three at Winderton after it being used to cast two trebles at both Harbury and Wellesbourne to cast the new treble here. The tonally poor tenor (8cwt) was subsequently replaced by a heavier one in 1993.

The frame incorporates a composite frame installed by Taylors in 1894 with second-hand Gillett & Johnston frame castings of 1919 (as at Harbury) from St. Stephen's, Clapham Park. The old four were rehung by Taylors in 1966. Relatively minor work to improve the go and striking characteristics of the bells was carried out by Nicholson of Bridport in December 2001.

You can park by the church gate and follow the path to the left of the church to gain entry. Though ground floor the draft is not excessive, at about 20 feet, and the bells go well. Worth a visit.

Details of the Bells
1 John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd, Loughborough 1981 3-1-24 26.63" 1646.0Hz (G#-16c)
2 John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd, Loughborough 1981 3-1-05 24.25" 1542.0Hz (F#-29c)
3 John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd, Loughborough 1981 3-1-26 25.375" 1370.0Hz (E#-34c)
4 John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd, Loughborough 1981 3-3-23 27.00" 1234.0Hz (D#-15c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1894 5-0-13 29.50" 1098.0Hz (C#-17c)
6 John de Stafford, Leicester c.1360 5-2-14 31.50" 1028.0Hz (B#-31c)
7 William Clibury, Wellington 1620 7-0-12 34.50" 924.0Hz (A#-16c)
8 John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd, Loughborough 1993 11-0-02 38.25" 819.0Hz (G#-24c)

 

 

Wolvey, St John the Baptist, Warwickshire

Wolvey Bells: 6; 12-0-24 in G
Grid Reference: 140/430880
Postcode: LE10 3LU
District: Coventry
Peals: Felstead Database
Recording:
Practice Night: Tuesday 7:30pm-9:00pm
Service Ringing: 9:00am-9:30am
Recommended Pub: The Bulls Head, Church Hill, Wolvey, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 3LB Tel: 01455 221100, or
The Blue Pig, Hall Road, Wolvey, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 3LG Tel: 01455 882827
Contact: Gerald Trevor 11 Hall Lane,Wolvey, Nr Hinckley, Leics LE10 3LF

History of the Bells

These bells go well. According to Dugdale there were 3 bells plus a saunce bell and 2 sacring bells here in 1552. These three bells, Hugh, Toby & John (of York) are now bells 3, 4 & 5 of the 6. The fifth is said to have come from Nuneaton Abbey. The bells were augmented by a tenor and two trebles in a new frame and fittings by Taylors in 1911, at a cost of £300. The fourth bell is the only one in the county by Norris. The canons of the old bells have been removed, the fourth being quarter turned and the third and fifth each being eighth turned, the new bells were cast with flat tops. They all were rehung on ball bearings in 1953.

A pleasant village with a choice of nice pubs. The church is by the main road through Wolvey. There is a small church car park at the east of the church; turn off to the east at the double mini roundabout near the church. Then turn left into School Lane and the parking is by the churchyard wall. Entry is via the south door and then by a short vertical metal ladder to the ringing room. 

Details of the Bells
1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1911 3-2-24 26.00" 1300.0Hz (E-24c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1911 4-1-27 28.50" 1161.0Hz (D-20c)
3 Hugh Watts II, Leicester 1625 4-2-10 30.25" 1032.0Hz (C-24c)
4 Toby Norris II, Stamford 1680 5-2-04 33.00" 973.0Hz (B-26c)
5 John de York, Leicester c.1400 8-3-11 37.00" 864.0Hz (A-32c)
6 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1911 12-0-24 40.375" 774.0Hz (G-22c)

 

Wootton Wawen, St Peter, Warwickshire

Wootton Wawen Bells: 6; 10-2-6 in F#
Grid Reference: 151/153633
Postcode: B95 6BE
District: Warwick
Peals: Felstead Database
Recording:
Practice Night: Monday 7:30pm-9:00pm
Service Ringing: 10:00am-10:30am
Recommended Pubs: The Navigation, Stratford Road, Wootton Wawen, Warwickshire, B95 6BZ. Tel: 01564 792676
The Bull's Head, Stratford Road, Wootton Wawen, Warwickshire, B95 6BD Tel: 01564 795 803
Contact: Keith Davies, Highview, Alcester Road, Wootton Wawen, Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire, B95 6BH

History of the Bells

Though the number of bells at specific times here is a little difficult to quote with certainty, there were certainly six bells here by 1761. It is probable that Henry Bagley of Witney cast what became the third and fourth bells in 1741 and the treble in 1742, all have been subsequently recast. Three bells came from the Rudhall foundry, the old fifth in 1761, (recast by Francis Tyler who was in charge of the foundry until the coming of age of Thomas Rudhall between the death of Abel Rudhall in 1760 and 1766), the fourth in 1784 and the third in 1803. The note of the tenor is F, and not F# as has been quoted until recently. Its pitch equates to F+37c.

The parish here actually effectively refused the offer of a completely new Taylor six in 1907, there being not enough of a majority on the PCC to satisfy the donor. Instead, the old bells were rehung with new fittings in 1911 by Thomas Bond of Burford who repaired the cracked fifth (like the treble which had been similarly repaired) with iron bands fixed across the cracks. (See Chris Pickford's article in Ringing World, 14th September 1973 p.478). The bells go well, the frame and fittings being by Taylors, 1955, at which time the repaired bells were recast and the others retuned and eighth turned. This cost £1120 Recently the 2nd bell was found to be cracked and it was welded by Soundweld in 2005.

Alphabetically, this the last church with a ringable ring of bells in the County of Warwickshire, but it not the least in any way! A very nice church that is worth viewing before ascending the tower. There is an exhibition in the church that shows its development from Saxon times. The tower is sort of central to the church and entry to the ringing room is gained by going round the back of the church, (by the bottom of the tower in the photograph, which was taken from the opposite side of the church to the main road), and then up a very old, but safe, wooden ladder. There is a church car park in front of the church.

Details of the Bells
1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1955 4-1-00 27.375" 1198.0Hz (D+34c)
2 Francis Watts Leicester 1591 5-0-05 30.375" 1066.0Hz (C+32c)
3 John Rudhall. Gloucester 1803 5-2-04 32.25" 953.0Hz (Bb+38c)
4 Charles & John Rudhall, Gloucester 1784 6-2-00 34.50" 899.0Hz (A+37c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1955 9-1-20 37.50" 802.0Hz (G+39c)
6 Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove 1719 10-2-06 41.50" 713.5Hz (F+37c)

 

Wormleighton, St Peter, Warwickshire

Wormleighton Bells: 3; 8cwt in A - UNRINGABLE
Grid Reference: 151/448538
Postcode: CV47 2XH
District: Warwick
Peals: None
Practice Night: None
Service Ringing: None
Recommended Pub: There is no pub in the village. Nearby are:
The Merrie Lion, Brook Street, Fenny Compton, Southam, Warwickshire, CV47 2YH. Tel: 01295 771134
The Wharf Inn, Wharf Road, Fenny Compton, Southam, Warwickshire, CV47 2FE. Tel: 01295 770332
- in the opposite direction:
The Plough Inn, 32 Warwick Rd, Upper Boddington, Daventry, Northants, NN11 6DH. Tel: 01327 260364
Contact: Contact Churchwarden Tel 01327 264330

History of the Bells

These bells are unsafe. The mediaeval bell was rehung on ball bearings by Mears and Stainbank in the 1950s and the rest are on fittings from the 1840s. The installation is by Watson of Napton with the same problem as his other work at Marton: the tenor is unturned but is heavily worn. The wheels are almost complete, but the bearings are heavily worn. At first sight these bells appear perfectly ringable; it is only the state of the bearings and the tenor's clapper-wear that prohibit this. Don't be misled by Church Bells of Warkwickshire's claim of a one-ton tenor - it's only about 8cwt! 

Details of the Bells
1 Henry Bagley I, Chacombe 1642 5cwt 30.00"
2 Robert Mellour, Nottingham c.1500 6½cwt 33.25"
3 Hugh Watts, Leicester 1617 8cwt 35.875"