A Ringers Guide to Towers in Worcestershire

Compiled by David P. Bagley. Thanks to Chris Pickford for much of the more up to date information.

Disclaimer : Most of the comments in this list are based on my own (personal) impressions of the towers on the day when I visited them. No responsiblilty is taken for the validity of the data, but I do my best to keep it as accurate as possible. If you have any suggestions and/or changes, please E-mail me on (Please note that this email address has been protected to avoid abuse by spammers. You will need a JavaScript-enabled browser.)

This list is intended as a companion to the visiting ringer, as well as the local ringer. Landranger maps (138,139,149,150) are useful, as is a torch for visiting when it is dark. For details of the tower contacts, refer to the Association report, or contact the Association Secretary, or the Branch Secretaries.

Another useful publication is "The Old Parish Churches of Worcestershire" by Mike Salter, ISBN 1 871731 04 6. It is available in many bookshops in the area. This contains plans, photographs, and much more information about the older and more interesting churches in the county.

One 3-bell tower (South Littleton) is included because it is ringable. The other three bell towers in the county are to be considered as unringable, and not worthy of mention here. Of the 4 bell towers that exist, only Eastham and Spetchley are now ringable. The other four bell towers are mentioned, but only as a matter of casual interest to the ringer.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W

 

Abbots Morton, S Peter, 4 bells, Tenor 6.75cwt, Grid Ref: SO027550, CHIMING ONLY

The tower, which dates from c1400, is thought to be unsafe. The tenor bell may well have been hung soon after the tower was completed and is one of about ten "Royal Head" bells left in the county. They have the heads of Edward III and Queen Philippa as word stops. The Mears bells were supplied through "Mr Savory" [probably William Savory] of Painswick, a bell hanger. The frame is his, but Thomas Mears supplied four headstocks and four wheels in 1842. The frame is positioned diagonally in the tower, as at Powick, Strensham and Croome D'Abitot. The fittings are derelict, with the wheels and stays missing, and the headstocks decaying. The tenor has now been hung 'dead' by Arthur Berry.

  1. Thomas Mears, London, 1842, 4-0-20
  2. Thomas Hancox II, Walsall, 1633
  3. Thomas Mears, London, 1842, 5-1-18
  4. Worcester Foundry, c1410, 6.75cwt in A sharp

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Alfrick, S Mary Magdalene, 4 bells, Tenor 2.5cwt, Grid Ref: SO748529, UNRINGABLE

The flimsy timber tower is in need of strengthening if these are ever to be rung again. This may seem surprising, since the bells are so small, but the structural timbers are badly decayed. At present the bells are clocked by means of levers welded to the clappers. All have wheels and are hung on wooden headstocks with plain bearings. The stays are missing, as are the ground pulleys. The bells are inscribed stock bells, which means that they are bells held in stock by the founder, and the inscriptions are engraved when they are sold. They do sound very nice when chimed. Some old timbers from a previous bell frame have been incorporated into the small wooden spire.

  1. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1820
  2. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1820
  3. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1820
  4. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1820, 2.5cwt in F

(Data:DPB 1992)

 

Alvechurch, S Laurence, 8 bells, Tenor 13cwt, Grid Ref: SP027724

These are rather toneless bells and are very oddstruck. The tenor may also be cracked. Access is in the north west corner, outside the tower. The church car park is to the south west of the church, but watch out for the one way streets. The upper stages of the tower bear the date 1676 which is when they were rebuilt, but the lower parts are somewhat older than this. The frame and fittings are by Barwell and date from 1891, and Gillett & Johnson of Croydon rehung them on ball bearings in 1950. An appeal to raise 60,000 is underway to have the frame and bells refurbished. Have a look at www.alvechurchdata.co.uk/bells

  1. Barwell, Birmingham, 1891
  2. Barwell, Birmingham, 1891
  3. Joseph Smith, Edgbaston, 1711
  4. Joseph Smith, Edgbaston, 1711
  5. Joseph Smith, Edgbaston, 1711
  6. Joseph Smith, Edgbaston, 1711
  7. Joseph Smith, Edgbaston, 1711
  8. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1845, 13cwt in F sharp

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Areley Kings, S Bartholomew, 6 bells, Tenor 8-1-3, Grid Ref: SO802710

The bells are quite good, but the tower is a little cramped. There is plenty of parking by the church gates. The porch tower is on the south side of the church, and the tower door is to the left as you enter it. The bottom of the tower is 14th C, and the top stage is 15th C. The former ring were Rudhall bells. The tenor was recast by Blews of Birmingham in 1867, and again in 1905 by Mears & Stainbank of London. The frame and fittings also date from 1905-6 and are by W. Greanleaf and Tristram. The bells were tuned by Taylors in 1938 and the ball bearings were overhauled during May 1993 by Arthur Berry.

  1. George Mears, London, 1859, 3-1-14
  2. George Mears, London, 1859, 3-2-26
  3. George Mears, London, 1859, 3-3-17
  4. George Mears, London, 1859, 4-1-26
  5. George Mears, London, 1859, 5-3-25
  6. Mears & Stainbank, London, 1905, 8-1-3 in B flat (8-2-16 pre 1938)

(Data:Walters 1930,C.J.Pickford 1993, 14/2/2003)

 

Ashton under Hill, S Barbara, 6 bells, Tenor 7-1-16, Grid Ref: SO997377

The bells are in the west tower which is 13th C. The frame is a steel frame installed by John Taylor of Loughborough in 1964. All are hung on cast iron headstocks with ball bearings, also dating from 1964. The fifth is a thin casting and is lighter than the fourth. The tower entrance is via a small set of outside steps on the north side of the tower. The ringing chamber is somewhat cramped, but the bells go well, and sound good. Parking is in the road at the end of the church path.

  1. Gillett & Johnson, Croydon 1946, 4-2-3
  2. Charles & John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1785, 4-2-19
  3. Charles & John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1785, 5-0-0
  4. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1827, 5-1-24
  5. Charles & John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1785, 5-1-12
  6. Charles & John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1785, 7-1-16 in A

(Data:Bliss+Sharpe, The Church Bells of Gloucestershire 1973)

 

Astley, S Peter, 6 bells, Tenor 14cwt, Grid Ref: SO787676

These were rehung in 1992 by Eayre & Smith Ltd in a new metal frame. The headstocks on 1, 4, 5 and tenor have been replaced. The 2nd and 3rd still have their wooden headstocks and canons, but are to be rehung on metal headstocks soon. The bells sound good and, apart from the 2nd and 3rd, go very well. The remains of the old rope guides are still in place, and obstruct the ropes, especially the 2nd. The 15th C tower is at the west end, and the tower door is inside the church in the north east corner of the tower. Parking is quite easy outside the church, in a specially built church car park. The bells are the remnants of a Rudhall ring of 1728, with three bells recast by different founders at different dates. The wheels (except the 4th) are those made by Charles Carr in 1897, and the original Carr ground pulleys are in a box in the ringing chamber.

  1. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1728
  2. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1806
  3. Thomas Mears, London, 1838, 6-3-0
  4. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1728
  5. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1728
  6. Charles Carr, Smethwick, 1897, 14cwt in F sharp

(Data:Walters 1930,C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Badsey, S James, 8 bells, Tenor 15-0-4, Grid Ref: SP071431

These are rung from a gallery at the back of the church, access to which is up a flight of wooden steps inside the tower. The bells have a fine tone, and go well. Parking is in the road outside the east and west ends of the church. The frame dates from 1899, and is by John Taylor, of Loughborough, who also rehung them in 1950.

  1. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1902, 4-1-18
  2. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1902, 4-3-22
  3. William Clark, Evesham, 1706, 5-1-22
  4. William Clark, Evesham, 1706, 5-3-6
  5. William Clark, Evesham, 1706, 6-3-15
  6. William Clark, Evesham, 1706, 8-0-14
  7. William Clark, Evesham, 1706, 11-2-11
  8. William Clark, Evesham, 1706, 15-0-4 in F

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Beckford, S John the Baptist, 6 bells, Tenor 13-3-0, Grid Ref: SO976358

This is a glorious village church, with a tall central tower. The bells are quite fine, and go well. The tower door is around the back of the church, and parking is available in the large layby by the church gates. The tenor note of E is rather low for the weight, but it is still not at all thin sounding. The 1804 Rudhall catalogue mentions a ring of, 6 here.

  1. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1697, 5-1-6
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1954, 5-2-14
  3. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1697, 6-1-4
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1953, 8-0-17
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1953, 11-2-0
  6. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1697, 13-3-0 in E(!)

(Data:Bliss+Sharpe, The Church Bells of Gloucestershire 1973)

 

Belbroughton, Holy Trinity, 6 bells, Tenor 9-3-24, Grid Ref: SO919769

The six bells hang in the 15th C west tower, and are rung from the ground floor. The inside of the church is very well kept. The bells go well, and sound good, having been rehung in 1972-3 by John Taylor, Loughborough. The former tenor, by Thomas Mears in 1840, was scrapped; the front five were retuned, and a new treble cast. There is some parking in the road outside the church, and the entrance is through the south porch.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1972, 3-3-13
  2. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1781, 6-0-6
  3. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1781, 6-1-4
  4. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1781, 7-1-11
  5. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1781, 7-3-14
  6. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1781, 9-3-24 in G

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Bengeworth, S Peter, 6 bells, Tenor 10.5cwt, Grid Ref: SP045436, UNRINGABLE

The are now unringable due to the poor state of the frame and fittings. The bells were recast out of five bells from the old church, which were probably by one of the Bagley family.

  1. William Blews and Sons, Birmingham, 1872
  2. William Blews and Sons, Birmingham, 1872
  3. William Blews and Sons, Birmingham, 1872
  4. William Blews and Sons, Birmingham, 1872
  5. William Blews and Sons, Birmingham, 1871
  6. William Blews and Sons, Birmingham, 1872, 10.5cwt in G

(Data:Walters 1930)

 

Beoley, S Leonard, 8 bells, Tenor 10-2-20, Grid Ref: SP066697

Beoley bells are rung from a gallery at the back of the church, access to which is via some rather steep wooden steps and through a trap door. They go quite well, and sound nice. There is plenty of parking by the church gate. The west tower dates from c1400. The bells were rehung in a new frame and with new fittings by Gillett & Johnson of Croydon in 1948. They were augmented to 8 for the millennium, the work being undertaken by Eayre and Smith Ltd. The frame sides for the two new bells were from a disused bell frame at Cheylesmore (nr. Coventry).

  1. Whitechapel, 1999, 4-1-22
  2. Whitechapel, 1999, 4-3-9
  3. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1708, 5-1-12
  4. Henry Oldfield, Nottingham, 1622, 5-3-20
  5. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1709, 6-0-26
  6. Newcombe, Leicester, 1611, 6-2-9
  7. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1789, 9-1-8
  8. Hugh Watts I, Leicester, 1601, 10-2-20 in F sharp

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1993, Robin Simmons 10/1/2000)

 

Berrow, S Faith, 5 bells, Tenor 8-2-6, Grid Ref: SO793343

These are a wonderful sounding Gillett and Johnson five hung in a metal 'H' pattern frame designed for six bells, although not completed as such. They are rung from the ground floor, but the long length of rope, and the plain bearings, makes them somewhat tricky to ring. They would be easier to ring upstairs - there is already a rope guide in the room above. The sliders are not the usual traditional or Hastings types, but are a sliding metal bar with a peg to engage with the stay. Parking is on the grass verges around the small green in front of the church hall.

  1. Gillett and Johnson, Croydon, 1915, 3-1-11 (nominal = 1290.5Hz)
  2. Gillett and Johnson, Croydon, 1915, 3-3-9 (nominal = 1148Hz)
  3. Gillett and Johnson, Croydon, 1915, 4-2-6 (nominal = 1078.5Hz)
  4. Gillett and Johnson, Croydon, 1915, 6-0-6 (nominal = 966.5Hz)
  5. Gillett and Johnson, Croydon, 1915, 8-2-10 in A (nominal = 860Hz)

(Data:Walters 1930, DPB 28/9/2002)

 

Bewdley, S Anne, 8 bells, Tenor 15-2-23, Grid Ref: SO786753

This church is in the middle of the road away from the west bank of the river Severn. Access is via a spiral staircase in the outside south wall of the tower. The tower was built in 1696, and the bells were rehung with new Taylor fittings in 1984, much of the work being undertaken by local ringers. Parking is not easy anywhere close to the church, but there are some car parks by the river, downstream of the bridge. These bells are a complete ring by Thomas Rudhall, who was running the Gloucester foundry between 1761 and 1783. At this time, Bewdley was a busy river port, and it is probably safe to assume that the bells were carried up the river Severn from Gloucester.

  1. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1780, 5-1-15
  2. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1780, 5-2-11
  3. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1780, 5-3-21
  4. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1780, 7-2-25
  5. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1780, 8-1-8
  6. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1780, 8-2-6
  7. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1780, 12-1-0
  8. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1780, 15-2-23 in F

(Data:Walters 1930,C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Birlingham, S James the Apostle, 6 bells, Tenor 10-0-20, Grid Ref: SO932432

These bells go quite well, but are slightly odd-struck. The belfry is currently very dirty with birds nesting amongst the bells. Access to the gallery is from inside the church, through the right hand of the two doors, and up a short vertical ladder. The ringing chamber light switch is at the bottom of the tower, to the left of the two doors. There is parking on the triangular grass verge opposite the village hall. The Bagley foundry was based mainly at Chacombe, near Banbury, but various members of the family set up foundries in other places at various times, such as Ecton (Northants.) and at Evesham. They are renowned for casting bells with many decorations, and for bad spelling of the inscriptions. The bells were rehung using the original frame in 1980 by Taylors, and the old treble and 2nd by William Bagley (1692) were recast.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1980, 5-0-4
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1980, 5-0-18
  3. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1748, 5-1-23
  4. Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1685, 6-0-4
  5. Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1685, 7-1-14
  6. Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1685, 10-0-20 in F sharp

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Birtsmorton, SS Peter & Paul, 4 bells, Tenor 9cwt, Grid Ref: SO801355, UNRINGABLE

The bellframe is now derelict, and the bells must not be rung. They are far from tuneful, being roughly the front four of a six. The frame is in four separate pieces, having a central portion for the 3rd, and three beams poorly wedged into the S,W and N tower windows for the other bells. The stays and sliders are the metal peg and latchet type. The clappers have wooden tops, and the wheels have large wooden wheel stays to strengthen them. The headstocks are straight elm beams.

  1. John Martin, Worcester, 1665
  2. John Martin, Worcester, 1665
  3. Robert Crowch, London, c1440-1480
  4. Thomas Hancox I, Walsall, 1630, 9cwt in A

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1970, DPB 1988)

 

Bishampton, S James, 6 bells, Tenor 10-2-4, Grid Ref: SO990518

A small amount of parking is available at the end of the church path, south of the church. The entrance to the ground floor ringing chamber is through the south porch of the church. The bells go well and sound quite nice. They are a little quiet inside the ringing chamber, unless the tower door is opened. The original six bells, of which just the 5th was recast soon afterwards, were ordered from Matthew Bagley while he was at Evesham. He actually started casting bells at Chacombe, Northants., in 1679, moving on to Evesham in 1687. He was already engaged in the work for Bishampton when he died in 1690, and William Bagley had to come down from Chacombe to complete the business. The fifth, probably a bad casting, was recast shortly afterwards by Richard Sanders of Bromsgrove. The bells were completely rehung and retuned by Taylors in 1937 in a new steel frame, and are hung on cast iron canon retaining headstocks, with Hastings stays and ball bearings.

  1. William Bagley, Chacombe, 1690, 4-1-2
  2. William Bagley, Chacombe, 1690, 4-3-8
  3. William Bagley, Chacombe, 1690, 5-1-12
  4. William Bagley, Chacombe, 1690, 6-1-19
  5. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1705, 8-1-23
  6. William Bagley, Chacombe, 1690, 10-2-4 in G

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Bredon, S Giles, 6 bells, Tenor 18-2-2, Grid Ref: SO919369

An inspection in November 2003 has shown that the bells, fittings, frame and tower are in sound condition, so that the bells could be rung again after many decades of silence. The bells were rung from the ground floor of the church for the first time on 5/9/2004. Previous to this, access to the ringing room was by means of a ladder to reach iron rings high in the wall below a trap door. The frame by Warners in 1914, is made out of riveted sections, and the bells (except the treble) are hung on self aligning plain bearings with riveted canon retaining headstocks, also by Warners. Nothing much is known about W. Witmore, who cast the 2nd, 3rd and tenor, but there may be a connection with a W. Whitmore who cast bells for Frocester, Glos., in 1639, now transferred to Eastington, Gloucestershire. In 1650, a "W Whitmore" cast two bells for the Clewer Tower at Windsor Castle, where they still form the 2nd and 3rd of the ring of eight there. The bells were augmented to 6 in December 2005 with the addition of a second hand bell supplied via the Keltek Trust. This bell was previously the 5th at Huntsham, Devon. The installation work was undertaken by Matthew Higby.

  1. John Taylor & Co, 1874, 5-2-20, 32.5" (ex Huntsham, Devon)
  2. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1733, 7-1-16
  3. W Witmore, 1624, 8-3-24
  4. W Witmore, 1624, 10-2-0
  5. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1706, 14-0-24
  6. W Witmore, 1624, 18-2-2 in D

(Data:Walters 1930,C.J.Pickford 1993, DPB 14/11/2003, 22/12/2005)

 

Bredon's Norton, Chapel of Ease, 6 bells, Tenor 6.5cwt, Grid Ref: SO931390

These are a very nice light 6, which go well, and sound good. There is a clock case in the corner of the ringing chamber which obstructs the view from the 4th. Access to the ringing chamber is up a short and steep spiral staircase in the outside of the north wall of the 13th century west tower. The unusual dedication is not found in any other church with bells. It is not uncommon for one bell in a ring from the Rudhall foundry to bear a different date, like the 4th here, and it may well be that the bell was recast under guarantee. If an inscription was required specific to the church which ordered the bells, then a new bell was cast specially. Very rarely, an inscription on a bell was removed if it was unsuitable for that church. An example of this is found at Bromsberrow, Glos. The bells were rehung in a new metal frame and augmented in 1885 by Mears & Stainbank, who also quarter turned them and fitted ball bearings in 1964-5.

  1. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1885, 3-3-7
  2. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1738, 4cwt
  3. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1738, 4.5cwt
  4. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1739, 5cwt
  5. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1738, 5.5cwt
  6. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1738, 6.5cwt in C sharp

(Data:Walters 1930, DPB 24/2/93)

 

Bretforton, S Leonard, 8 bells, Tenor 8-3-11, Grid Ref: SP093439

The only way into the ground floor ringing chamber is by means of the west door at the base of the tower. The ropes fall quite close together, and the bells go quite well. The back six bells were rehung by Taylors in 1909, and all are on plain bearings. The two trebles are hung above the other bells. There is plenty of parking available outside The Fleece Inn, which is National Trust owned.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1949, 3-3-12
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1949, 3-3-14
  3. J+N Westcott, Bristol, 1823, 4-1-23
  4. J+N Westcott, Bristol, 1823, 4-2-15
  5. J+N Westcott, Bristol, 1823, 5-1-13
  6. J+N Westcott, Bristol, 1823, 6-0-26
  7. J+N Westcott, Bristol, 1823, 6-3-6
  8. J+N Westcott, Bristol, 1823, 8-3-11 in F sharp

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Broadwas, S Mary Magdalene, 5 bells, Tenor 4-0-20, Grid Ref: SO755551

The long nave and chancel are mostly of c1200, with a south doorway and several windows of that period. The tower is wooden, and the ringing chamber is a wooden gallery at the back of the church. The steps to this gallery are on the left hand side as you walk towards it. The bells were rehung in 1977-8 and are an easy little ring of five, which sound very nice and clear. The frame dates from 1896 when the tower was reconstructed. The tenor is one of only a few bells from the mediaeval Gloucester foundry to still be rung. Another one in the area is the semitone bell at Great Malvern Priory. All five bells have fabricated steel headstocks, and are hung on ball bearings. The ring was remodeled in 1977, with the old 2nd (by Carr's of Smethwick, 1896) being removed from the ring, and the old treble tuned down to replace it. A new treble was then cast to complete the ring. There is some parking available outside the church gate.

  1. Whitechapel, 1977, 2-1-20
  2. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1820, 2-3-6 (1822?)
  3. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1820, 2-3-12
  4. Charles Carr, Smethwick, 1896, 3-1-4
  5. John of Gloucester ?, c1350, 4-0-20 in C sharp

(Data:DPB 17/2/93, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Broadway, S Eadburgh, 6 bells, Tenor 18-1-16, Grid Ref: SP097363

The church is situated one mile south of the centre of Broadway on the Snowshill road, and is only used for worship in the summer months. The bells were rehung and tuned by Gillett and Johnson in 1928, and are fairly heavy going. The large headstocks are canon retaining, and the frame is a metal 'H' pattern. They are rung from the ground floor in the Chancel Crossing and there are several large pews which must be removed before ringing. Parking is on the side of the road in front of the church.

  1. Matthew Bagley, 1778, 5-3-9
  2. Thomas Mears, London, 1812, 6-1-0
  3. Henry Farmer, Gloucester, 1603, 7-0-19
  4. Henry Farmer, Gloucester, 1609, 10-1-18
  5. Thomas Mears, London, 1812, 14-0-9
  6. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1828, 18-1-16 in E

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Bromsgrove, S John the Baptist, 10 bells, Tenor 17-1-17, Grid Ref: SO957707

The tower dates from the 13th C, and was finished off in the late 14th C, the delay being caused by the Black Death. The bells are mentioned as a ring of eight in the 1804 Rudhall catalogue, and were augmented in 1816. They were rehung by Eayre & Smith in 1983-4 in a new metal frame. The bells go fairly well, but some (notably the 7th) are very odd-struck. A narrow drive leads up to the church from the east end, and there is some parking at the base of the tower. The door to the tower is through the large west entrance, and on the right. The steps are not worn, but are somewhat uneven in height, so take care when climbing up or down. The tenor was the only bell weighed while the bells were rehung, to provide the solution to the "Guess the weight of the tenor" fund raising competition.

  1. Thomas Mears, London, 1816, 4cwt
  2. Thomas Mears, London, 1816, 4.5cwt
  3. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1773, 4.75cwt
  4. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1773, 5cwt
  5. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1701, 5.5cwt
  6. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1773, 6.5cwt
  7. Thomas Mears, London, 1816, 8.5cwt
  8. Barwell, Birmingham, 1897, 10.5cwt
  9. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1790, 13.5cwt
  10. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1773, 17-1-17 in E

(Data:Walters 1930,J.Slater 1990)

 

Bushley, S Peter, 6 bells, Tenor 7cwt, Grid Ref: SO875343

These are rung from upstairs, access is via a short flight of wooden steps, and through a trap door. There is a small amount of parking around the back of the church, but they don't like you parking on the grass verge in front of the church. The church entrance is at the base of the tower. The bells are hung on ball bearings, and go fairly well, but are not particularly tuneful.

  1. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1889, 3-2-11
  2. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1710, 4cwt
  3. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1710, 4.5cwt
  4. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1710, 5cwt
  5. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1710, 5.5cwt
  6. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1710, 7cwt in B flat

(Data:Walters 1930, DPB 20/5/1993,6/10/95)

 

Castlemorton, S Gregory, 6 bells, Tenor 9.5cwt, Grid Ref: SO794373

Until about 1980, these were rung from the ground floor without any rope guides. Nowadays, they are rung from a wooden platform, access to which is inside the church up a few wooden steps and through a large double trap door. There is parking on the grass verges around the north and west sides of the church. The best pub in the area is the "Farmers Arms" in Birtsmorton, grid reference SO790363. Originally, there were 5 Rudhall bells here, as mentioned in the 1804 Rudhall catalogue. The bells were overhauled and rehung in 2002 by Arthur Berry and are now excellent to ring and will be even better once the oddstruckness is sorted out. The tenor weight was previously given as 9.5cwt!

  1. Llewellin and James, Bristol, 1896, 3-0-8
  2. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1695, 3-2-8
  3. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1695, 3-3-0 (welded 2002)
  4. Llewellin and James, Bristol, 1896, 4-0-16
  5. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1795, 4-3-12
  6. Llewellin and James, Bristol, 1896, 6-3-18 in A (868Hz)

(Data:Walters 1930, Alan Bagworth 3/12/2002)

 

Chaddesley Corbett, S Cassian, 8 bells, Tenor 15-2-0, Grid Ref: SO891736

These were a complete ring of six by Abraham Rudhall I in 1701, augmented by Charles and John Rudhall in 1783, the back three having been recast since then. The Rudhall catalogue of 1804 states that, 8 bells were supplied, but does not say when. The frame is by William Greenleaf in 1905, and the bells were rehung on ball bearings in 1967 by Taylors, who rehung them in 2000.This is the only church (with bells) in the country with this dedication. There is plenty of on-street parking outside the church. The tower entrance is through the south door of the tower. The bells go well and sound nice having been rehung and retuned by Hayward Mills Associates in 2001.

  1. Charles and John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1783, 4-2-18
  2. Charles and John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1783, 4-2-22
  3. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1701, 4-2-12
  4. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1701, 5-2-25
  5. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1701, 7-0-1
  6. C&G Mears, London, 1856, 8-0-15
  7. C&G Mears, London, 1856, 9-2-20
  8. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1905, 15-2-0 in E

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993, C.Povey 2000)

 

Childswickham, S Mary the Virgin, 6 bells, Tenor 11-3-26, Grid Ref: SP074384

Ringing room access is by an iron ladder inside the porch and through a little trap door. They go well and sound nice, having some attention in recent years. The frame and fittings date from 1892 and are by Taylors. There is a church car park up the lane to the church. Without a map, this is a tricky Church to find. Turn off the main road by the pub in a southerly direction, and take the 2nd left. At the triangle, bear right.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1892, 4-2-9
  2. Richard Keene, Woodstock, 1680, 3-2-21
  3. Richard Keene, Woodstock, 1680, 4-0-24
  4. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1757, 5-1-3
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1892, 8-2-20
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1892, 11-3-26 in F sharp

(Data:Bliss+Sharpe, The Church Bells of Gloucestershire 1973)

 

Church Honeybourne, S Egwin, 5 bells, Tenor 12-1-0, Grid Ref: SP120440, UNRINGABLE

The frame and fittings here all date from 1830 and are unsafe. An appeal is now underway to restore and augment these bells.

  1. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1731
  2. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1797
  3. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1830, 7-1-17
  4. Henry Bagley I, Chacombe, 1665, 8-3-12
  5. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1830, 12-1-0 in F sharp

(Data:Walters 1930, Mary Bliss 1981, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Church Lench, All Saints, 6 bells, Tenor 13-3-26, Grid Ref: SP024513

These bells have recently been rehung in a new two tier frame. The previous weak two tier frame and the fittings was by Taylors in 1869/70. The ringing chamber is on the ground floor, and the way to the bells is up an unusual wooden stair case above the ringers heads. The tower dates from the 15th C, and there is parking in the road outside the church. The previous tenor was recast from an even earlier bell by Taylors in 1869, and weighed 12-3-23.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1870, 5-3-21, 29.5"
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1869, 6-1-9, 31.5"
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1869, 7-1-26, 33.5"
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1869, 8-1-12, 35.5"
  5. Henry Farmer, Gloucester, 1600, 10-1-20, 38.25"
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1876, 13-3-26 in G, 42.25"

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993, Eayre & Smith 2004)

 

Claines, S John the Baptist, 10 bells, Tenor 13-3-26, Grid Ref: SO851588

The church, apart from the outer north aisle and the north porch, dates from c1480-1520. The original five bells were augmented to 8 in 1927, and again from 8-10 in 1940. Two tier 'H' pattern frame has five bells above, and 5 below, and all are hung on ball bearings with cast iron headstocks. Ringing takes place from the ground floor, and the ropes fall close together around the font at the back of the church. The bells go well, and apart from the quiet trebles, sound OK. Parking is on the side of the road running around the church, and the nearest pub is the Mug House, which is actually in the churchyard! The two trebles were cast in 1940 during World War II, which is rather unusual. The old sixth was cast in 1686 by William Huntbach of Worcester who was not a successful founder. The only bells by him still hung in the area are the unringable rings at Kington, Worcs (3 bells) and Mordiford, Herfs (5 bells). Two bells he supplied for Ludlow in 1690 were returned to him a couple of years later!

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1940, 3-2-3
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1940, 3-2-24
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1927, 3-3-6
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1927, 3-3-10
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1927, 4-1-10
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1927, 5-0-22
  7. J. Warner and Sons, London, 1886, 5-0-25
  8. Richard Oldfield, Lindridge, 1622, 7-1-0
  9. Richard Oldfield, Lindridge, 1623, 9-3-4
  10. Richard Oldfield, Lindridge, 1623, 13-3-26 in F sharp

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Cleeve Prior, S Andrew, 6 bells, Tenor 8-3-26, Grid Ref: SP088493

The west tower dates from the 14th C, and access to the ringing gallery is from inside the church. The frame and fittings are by Mears and Stainbank in 1927 when the existing ring of four was restored. These four old bells were retuned at this time, but it took until 1949 to actually complete the ring of six. The bells are, however, rather odd-struck, and not easy to strike well. There is some car parking around the village green.

  1. Mears & Stainbank, London, 1949, 4-1-8
  2. Mears & Stainbank, London, 1949, 4-1-17
  3. Henry Bagley I, Chacombe, 1658, 5-0-0
  4. Henry Bagley I, Chacombe, 1658, 6-0-18
  5. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1722, 7-2-11
  6. Henry Bagley I, Chacombe, 1658, 8-3-26 in G

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Clent, S Leonard, 8 bells, Tenor 11-0-18, Grid Ref: SO929793

Clent bells are pleasant to ring and go well. The tower dates from the 15th century, and the steps up to the ringing chamber are inside the church in the south west corner. Access into the building is via the main church door, or more usually through a small door in the south wall of the tower. Parking is on the road outside the church, and there is a pub/restaurant over the road from the church. A plaque above the tower steps indicates that the bells were rehung in 1963, but it does not say who carried out the work (it was probably Taylors). The spiral staircase is quite tight, with a large step into the ringing chamber door. The 2nd-5th ropes pass through the clock case.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1902, 4-1-22
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1902, 4-2-15
  3. Joseph Smith, Edgbaston, 1718, 4-1-8
  4. Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1681, 4-2-23
  5. Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1681, 4-3-6
  6. Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1681, 6-0-19
  7. Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1681, 7-1-20
  8. Henry Bagley III, Chacombe, 1743, 11-0-18 in F sharp

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993, DPB 18/11/1998)

 

Clifton on Teme, S Kenelm, 6 bells, Tenor 10-0-10, Grid Ref: SO714616

These are rung from the ground floor at the west end of the church. They were rhung in 1999 by Taylors. The original five bells are by John Martin of Worcester, and all bear his foundry mark. Parking is in the road outside the church, but if you visit the Red Lion pub next to the church, you can probably park there. Saint Kenelm was the son of a ninth century Mercian King who, on the death of his father, was 'cared' for by his sister Quendrada, who later murdered him on the Clent hills.

  1. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1914, 4-2-17 (prev.4-3-26)
  2. John Martin, Worcester, 1668, 4-0-22
  3. John Martin, Worcester, 1668, 4-3-14
  4. John Martin, Worcester, 1668, 5-3-3
  5. John Martin, Worcester, 1668, 8-0-15
  6. John Martin, Worcester, 1668, 10-0-10 in F (704Hz/F+13c)

(Data:Taylors 3/12/1999)

 

Cookley, S Peter, 6 bells, Tenor 5-2-16, Grid Ref: SO842801

These were recast and rehung in a new frame by Taylors in 1995, installed by Arthur Berry. The old bells listed below were all broken up in the tower.

  1. C&G Mears, London, 1849, 4-3-16
  2. C&G Mears, London, 1849, 5-1-12
  3. Mears & Stainbank, London, 1878, 6-2-23 (the 1849 bell weighed 6-2-7)
  4. C&G Mears, London, 1849, 6-2-3
  5. C&G Mears, London, 1849, 9-1-11
  6. C&G Mears, London, 1849, 12-1-0 in F sharp

There is a little parking in the lane past the church. The tower entrance is outside the church to the right of the porch. The bells are a lovely little ring of six and are easy to ring, although a little 'clonky' inside. The details of the new bells are:

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1995, 2-1-12
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1995, 2-3-0
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1995, 3-0-8
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1995, 3-1-24
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1995, 4-2-0
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1995, 5-2-16 (1048Hz)

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993, DPB 28/2/96)

 

Croome D'Abitot, S James, 6 bells, Tenor 10-1-12, Grid Ref: SO887450

This is a beautiful church on the former Croome estate, but it is now redundant, It replaced an older building by Croome Court, and the bells were moved to the new one. The new church was probably the work of Capability Brown in 1763, but the interior decoration and furnishings are by Robert Adam. Parking is in the National Trust car park. The entrance door is inside the church on the left hand side as you walk in. The bells are hung diagonally in the tower on plain bearings. Unusually for an upstairs ringing chamber, the floor is made of stone, and has no trap door. Much work was done by Paul Smith (and others) in 2011 to get these bells ringing again.

  1. Thomas Mears, London, 1812, 4 cwt
  2. John Martin, Worcester, 1662, 4.25 cwt
  3. John Martin, Worcester, 1652, 5 cwt
  4. John Martin, Worcester, 1651, 5.5 cwt
  5. John Martin, Worcester, 1651, 7 cwt
  6. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1699, 10-1-12 in A

(Data:Walters 1930)

 

Cropthorne, S Michael & AA, 6 bells, Tenor 10cwt, Grid Ref: SP000452

Access to the ringing chamber is via a long, steep sloping, wooden ladder from the back of the church. Parking space outside the church is very restricted, since the road is quite narrow, but there are some side streets which may be used. The third bell bears characteristics from bells of Henry Farmer (of Gloucester), John Martin (Worcester), and Richard Keene (Woodstock), but Chris Pickford believes that it is the earliest known bell by Clark and Bushell of Evesham, who also worked together to cast bells for Hinton on the Green. The frame and fittings are by Bond of Burford in 1898, but the ball bearings were installed in 1937 by Mears and Stainbank. The bells sound quite nice, apart from the 5th which is a bit sharp. They go well and handle well, and the ringing chamber is very well looked after.

  1. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1746
  2. Bond of Burford, 1898
  3. Unknown founder, 1703, (see text)
  4. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1750
  5. Bond of Burford, 1898
  6. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1746, 10cwt in G

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Crowle, S John the Baptist, 8 bells, Tenor 10cwt, Grid Ref: SO922559

These bells are (in)famous in the county as being some of the worst. They are out of tune, and very loud and harsh. They are also odd-struck, and do not go well. Access is by an outside door on the west side of the tower, and parking is on the side of the road by the church.

  1. Barwell, Birmingham, 1897
  2. Barwell, Birmingham, 1897
  3. Barwell, Birmingham, 1897
  4. John Martin, Worcester, 1667
  5. John Martin, Worcester, 1667
  6. John Martin, Worcester, 1667
  7. John Martin, Worcester, 1667
  8. John Martin, Worcester, 1667, 10cwt in G (approx)

(Data:Walters 1930)

 

Defford, S James, 4 bells, Tenor 6cwt, Grid Ref: SO917432, UNRINGABLE

These bells are not in very good condition, and should not be rung. The ringing room is on the ground floor. The lower part of the 15th C tower is stone, and the upper portion is black and white half timbered. Likewise, the frame is a mixture of materials, being a composite wood and cast iron frame. Parking is in the road outside the south side of the church.

  1. Charles Carr, Smethwick, 1908
  2. Henry Farmer, Gloucester, 1604
  3. Matthew Bagley, Evesham, 1689
  4. Charles Carr, Smethwick, 1903, 6cwt in C

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1970,1993)

 

Dodderhill, S Augustine, 8 bells, Tenor 18-2-4, Grid Ref: SO902637

These are a very fine Taylor octave, hung in a leaning tower, as you will notice if you try to walk diagonally across the ringing chamber. Access to the ringing chamber is inside the Church to the right as you walk in from the south door. There is some parking up the church lane. The church was started in the 1190s, and was cruciform with a central tower. All that remain of this are the old tower arches, and a new chancel was built in the 14th C. After the civil war, the upper part of the central tower was taken down, and a new tower, the current one, was built over the south transept.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1932, 4-3-23
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1932, 5-1-15
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1932, 5-2-18
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1932, 6-2-2
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1932, 8-1-2
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1932, 9-2-3
  7. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1932, 13-2-11
  8. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1932, 18-2-4 in E

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Droitwich, S Andrew, 8 bells, Tenor 18cwt, Grid Ref: SO899634, UNRINGABLE

The tower became unsafe at the beginning of the century, due to subsidence caused by salt workings in the area. The 5th is hung in the remains of the tower, but the other bells are stored in the church.

  1. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1735
  2. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1735
  3. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1735
  4. Thomas Hancox, Walsall, 1631
  5. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1759 (hung in tower)
  6. Thomas Hancox, Walsall, 1631
  7. John Martin, Worcester, 1645
  8. Henry Bagley I, Chacombe, 1676, 18cwt in E

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Droitwich, S Peter de Witton, 6 bells, Tenor 9.5cwt, Grid Ref: SO903625

These are rung from the ground floor at the back of the church. They were rehung in 1914 and augmented from 3 to 6 in 1921. The bells go well, and sound good. All six bells swing in the same direction in a metal 'H' frame by Barwell in 1914. The fittings of the back three bells also date from this time. Access to the belfry is via an outside ladder around the edge of the tower. There is a large car park east of the church. The tower dates from the 15th C. There is a church hall (with toilets) behind the church.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1921, 3-1-11
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1921, 4-0-3
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1921, 5-0-4
  4. John Greene I, Worcester, c1600
  5. Barwell, Birmingham, 1914
  6. Barwell, Birmingham, 1914, 9.5cwt in G

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Earl's Croome, S Nicholas, 6 bells, Tenor 8-0-10, Grid Ref: SO870420

These are a lovely little ring of six and would be a delight to ring if the volume in the ringing chamber was reduced. The access is via an outside stone staircase on the north side of the tower. The bells were recast and hung in a new frame by Taylors in 1951. Parking is on the grass verge of the road. The church is mainly Norman, and the tower is 'neo-Norman' dating from the 1840s. According to H.B.Walters (1930), there were five bells, dating from 1746 (Abel Rudhall) and 1707 (Abraham Rudhall I), which must have been transferred from the old tower.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 3-0-2
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 3-0-17
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 3-2-7
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 4-0-24
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 5-2-4
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 8-0-10 in A sharp

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Eastham, SS Peter & Paul, 4 bells, Tenor 7-1-17, Grid Ref: SO647688

These fine bells were rehung and retuned by Taylors in 1948/9, and go very well. The ringing chamber is at ground floor level, but is used as a storage room by the flower ladies, so few pots, etc, need to be removed before it is possible to ring. A small car park is next to the church. The tower dates from 1825 and has unusual openings, but because the bells are older than this, it is almost certainly a replacement for an earlier tower.

  1. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1754, 3-3-14
  2. John Martin, Worcester, 1663, 5-0-12
  3. John Martin, Worcester, 1655, 5-2-8
  4. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1699, 7-1-17 in A

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1993,DPB 20/6/92)

 

Eckington, Holy Trinity, 8 bells, Tenor 14-0-26, Grid Ref: SO923414

There is no parking close to the church, but it is usually possible to park in one of the side streets a short walk away. Access is via a tricky little ladder inside the back of the church under the tower. The bells sound nice and go well, and have been retuned and augmented by Taylors of Loughborough in 1968. Don't be tempted to turn the fan in the ceiling on, as it 'chops' the sound from the bells. There are two pubs within a short distance, but the Anchor (SO923413, off the main road) is probably the better one.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1968, 4-1-9
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1968, 5-0-1
  3. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1721, 5-0-5
  4. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1721, 5-2-25
  5. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1721, 6-2-16
  6. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1721, 7-2-27
  7. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1721, 10-1-18
  8. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1721, 14-0-26 in F

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Eldersfield, S John the Baptist, 6 bells, Tenor 18cwt, Grid Ref: SO799312

The bells were completely restored by A.C.Berry in 2009 in the existing frame by Rudhall's bell hanger Charles Jacques in 1813, the frame being further strengthened during this work. The bells were also tuned at Loughborough as part of the restoration work. They are rung from the ground floor, and the ringing room ceiling is now of a suspended type, with the rope bosses cut into the plastic tiles. Above this, there are some large 'tripods' which were the original rope guides. Access to the ringing chamber is either via the main church (up four steps), or from the west wall of the tower (down one step). There is a small church car park up the hill from the church. The tower and spire date from the 15th C.

  1. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1705, 5-2-26
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1891, 6-3-26 (was 7-0-11 before tuning)
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1891, 8-2-26 (was 8-3-9 before tuning)
  4. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1705, 9-0-16
  5. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1705, 12-1-12
  6. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1705, 18-1-0 in E

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993, Dove online 05/11/09)

 

Elmley Castle, S Mary, 6 bells, Tenor 17cwt, Grid Ref: SO982410

These bells are rung from a very large ground floor ringing chamber, but they are not particularly tuneful, and are not easy to ring. The old 5th dated from 1559, and the previous 4th by Matthew Bagley was cast in 1686. Parking is in the road at the end of the church path. The church, however is one of the most interesting churches in the county, and is well worth a visit. Look out for the stone pig and rabbit in the porch. There are two pubs in the area, one over the road from the church, and another (The Mill) up a small lane at SO985412.

  1. William Bagley, Chacombe, 1700, 6-1-12
  2. Henry Farmer, Gloucester, 1619, 6-2-20
  3. Worcester Foundry, c1410, 7-2-16
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 9-3-0
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1886, 12-0-15
  6. Henry Farmer, Gloucester, 1620, 17cwt in E

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Elmley Lovett, S Michael & AA, 8 bells, Tenor 9-3-0, Grid Ref: SO865697

These were restored in 1989-1990, when the cracked 4th (now the 6th) was welded, and two trebles added. They now go very well, and are very clear inside the ringing chamber, but rather odd-struck. Access is by a door on the south side of the 14thC west tower, and they are rung from the ground floor. Parking is available up the hill towards the church. South of the church in the next field can be seen the site of Elmley Lovett village, which was abandoned during the great plague.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1989, 3-2-2
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1989, 3-2-18
  3. William Bagley, Chacombe, 1697, 4-0-2
  4. William Bagley, Chacombe, 1696, 4-1-20
  5. William Bagley, Chacombe, 1696, 5-0-14
  6. William Bagley, Chacombe, 1696, 5-2-6
  7. William Bagley, Chacombe, 1696, 7-1-14
  8. William Bagley, Chacombe, 1696, 9-3-0 in G

(Data:The Ringing World 15/3/1991, p253)

 

Evesham, All Saints and S Laurence, 14 bells, Tenor 35-2-20, Grid Ref: SP038436

These superb bells are hung in 'The Bell Tower', which is all that remains of the former Evesham Abbey. Access is from the south side of the detached tower via a spiral staircase to the old ringing chamber, from which there is a short wooden stair case into the current ringing chamber. Look out for the painted memorials to former ringers on the walls of the ringing chamber. The bells are superb in both in tone and 'go'. The twelve were cast in 1951 by Taylors and were modelled upon the eleventh at Worcester Cathedral. The semitone was cast in 1976, and the extra treble was added in 1992, giving a light 14cwt 10 with the 9th (of 12) as the tenor. There are several car parks close by, and even more pubs in the area. The corrected weights for the extra treble, the 4th, 9th and tenor are taken from Taylor's job book by Chris Povey.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 5-2-22
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 6-1-6
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 6-2-19
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 7-1-13
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 7-2-22
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 8-0-19
  7. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 9-0-1
  8. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 11-0-16
  9. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 14-2-26
  10. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 18-2-23
  11. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 25-3-27
  12. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1951, 35-2-20 in C sharp

Semitone bells:

(Data:The Ringing World, Christmas issue 1992, Chris Povey 17/2/05)

 

Feckenham, S John the Baptist, 8 bells, Tenor 11-3-24, Grid Ref: SP009616

Parking is on the edges of the village green, not up the church drive. Access to the ringing gallery, which was erected in the 1980s, is via a flight of wooden steps at the back of the church, and through a counter-balanced trap door. The bells go well, are of good tone, and the acoustics are clear. The table of weights on the wall below the ringing chamber gives the tenor weight as 11-3-26. One bell, the 6th, was recast after it broke right off around the crown, due to the fact that the stay was too strong. The west tower, which is quite substantial, dates from the 15th C. Henry Bagley I was the first of the family to cast bells, starting in c1630, and Matthew Bagley II was the last. Matthew II retired in 1782 and died about three years later. There is a plaque on the frame which says that it was made by John Jacques Jnr, of Gloucester, and is dated July 7th 1842. There is no founders mark on the third, but the vine border is that from the Rudhall foundry, and the 1804 Rudhall catalogue shows a bell was supplied to Feckenham. Walters incorrectly states that the 3rd is a Bagley bell.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1866, 4-1-24
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1866, 4-2-20
  3. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1776, 4-3-22
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1961, 5-0-7
  5. Henry Bagley I, Chacombe, 1640, 5-3-15
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1961, 6-2-5
  7. Thomas Mears, Gloucester, 1841, 8-0-17
  8. Henry Bagley I, Chacombe, 1640, 11-3-24 in G

(Data:Walters 1930, DPB 24/1/93, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Fladbury, S John the Baptist, 8 bells, Tenor 12-3-3, Grid Ref: SO996463

These are a 1807 Mears six restored in 1991, and augmented in 1992 by Taylors. The tenor was welded as it had been badly cracked. Although a little odd-struck at present, they are pleasant and easy to ring. The best parking is in the access road opposite to the church. There are two good pubs close to the church. The lower part of the tower is Norman, and was extended in the latter part of the 13th C. The tower steps are in the north east corner of the tower, with one doorway into the north aisle, and another outside the church.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1992, 6-0-20
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1992, 7-1-0
  3. Thomas Mears, London, 1807, 6-0-8
  4. Thomas Mears, London, 1807, 6-1-12
  5. Thomas Mears, London, 1807, 7-1-2
  6. Thomas Mears, London, 1807, 8-0-6
  7. Thomas Mears, London, 1807, 9-3-6
  8. Thomas Mears, London, 1807, 12-3-3 in A flat

(Data:DPB 1992)

 

Grafton Flyford, S John the Baptist, 5 bells, Tenor 15cwt, Grid Ref: SO963558, UNRINGABLE

These bells are now derelict, and have not been rung for many years. They were a complete six of 1676 by John Martin of Worcester, although one, the third, which was recast by John Rudhall in about 1814, has since been lost. The story is that it was sent to John Rudhall of Gloucester in 1814 for recasting, but never came back. John Rudhall went bankrupt in 1814, but resumed bell founding in his own name in 1817.

  1. John Martin, Worcester, 1676
  2. John Martin, Worcester, 1676
  3. (bell missing)
  4. John Martin, Worcester, 1676
  5. John Martin, Worcester, 1676
  6. John Martin, Worcester, 1676, 15cwt in F

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Great Comberton, S Michael, 6 bells, Tenor 8-2-16, Grid Ref: SO955421

These are a fine six which go and sound well, having been rehung by Taylors in 1955. Access is by a VERY tight stair case in the west wall of the west tower. Parking is best on the east side of the church on the grass verge of the lane.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1955, 3-1-9
  2. Matthew Bagley I, Evesham, 1687, 3-3-18
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1869, 5-1-16
  4. Matthew Bagley I, Evesham, 1687, 5-2-5
  5. Matthew Bagley I, Evesham, 1687, 6-3-22
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1869, 8-2-16 in B flat

(Data:Walters 1930)

 

Great Hampton, S Andrew, 8 bells, Tenor 12-2-4, Grid Ref: SP029431

These are a delightful Taylor octave. Access is inside the church in the north east corner of the central tower. The bells replace a complete ring of six by Carr of Smethwick, cast in 1902. These in turn replaced a ring of four by Henry Bagley, 1702. There is parking at the Community Centre on the west side of the church.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 3-3-14
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 4-0-4
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 4-0-26
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 4-2-8
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 5-1-12
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 6-1-19
  7. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 8-2-22
  8. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 12-2-4 in F sharp

(Data:DPB 27/2/93, C.J.Pickford 1993, Len Mills 31/12/1998)

 

Great Malvern, S Mary (Priory), 9 Bells, Tenor 21-2-20, Grid Ref: SO775458

The original six bells were augmented in 1887 by adding a treble, tenor and a new 5th. The semitone bell (the old 4th) was only re-hung for ringing in 1968, and is a very fine toned bell, considering its age. Access to the ringing chamber is by about 100 steps and the door is behind the organ in the Lady Chapel, the bottom 50 or so steps are wooden, the rest being stone. Once up into the ringing chamber, there are some wooden steps back down onto the ringing chamber floor. The regular ringers all have keys to the door latch under the east window. Visitors on a practice night should turn up promptly at 7.30, when they should be able to get in without waiting too long. The east window is the largest in any parish church in England, and the mediaeval stained glass windows in the Lady Chapel dates from c1440-1506, and are the most complete anywhere in the country. The 6th and 7th bells have the inscription "IH", and refer to "John Savage" of Elmley Castle, but their origin is unknown. A similar bell hangs as part of a derelict three bell chime in Bransford Chapel, near Malvern. It has been suggested that they might be by John Higden, an itinerant founder originally from the Reading area, but the date 1611 does not tally with his known dates. The semitone bell was cast by the same founder as the tenor at Broadwas, often assumed to be John of Gloucester. There are several differences in the style and shape of these two bells to four bells at Ely Cathedral, which are now known to be definitely by John of Gloucester in 1354. However, the remaining bell at the nearby Little Malvern Priory is very much more like the Ely bells, and is almost certainly by the same founder. The bells are increasingly difficult to ring mainly because of a considerable amount movement in the weak Taylor 1887 high sided 'A' frame. The frame has caused problems since it was installed, indeed the bells were actually unringable in 1900 just 13 years after it was installed. It was partially (and ineffectually) stiffened in the early 20th century, and is now becoming a major cause for concern again. Further strengthening is not considered viable and it is to be hoped that it can be replaced before too long, otherwise the bells will be silent. There is nothing historically important about this frame, there are many fine examples around the country, including one in preservation under the care of English Heritage at Temple Church, Bristol.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1887, 5-0-19
  2. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1707, 4-3-22
  3. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1706, 5-2-16
  4. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1707, 6-1-26
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1887, 10-1-11
  6. Unknown founder, 1611, 10-3-10
  7. Unknown founder, 1611, 14-0-22
  8. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1887, 21-2-20 in E flat

Semitone bell

(Data:The Ringing World, 19/7/1985, p617)

 

Grimley, S Bartholomew, 6 bells, Tenor 12-0-14, Grid Ref: SO836607

These are quite nice bells, and the tenor is the second oldest dated bell in the county. One of the disused bells in the cloisters of Worcester Cathedral is also by the same founder and is dated 1480, and these two are in fact the only dated mediaeval bells in the county. The ringing chamber is on a gallery at the back of the church, and access is via an outside covered stairway. The tower actually dates from only 1886, and so replaces an earlier one, the bells being transferred to the new one. The bells were rehung in 1932 by Taylors in a new frame and with new fittings. They also recast the treble and third, replacing bells by John Rudhall. The tenor is rather slow turning and hard going, mainly because it is a long waisted bell with the rope drawn across above the ringing chamber, but the rest go very well. There is a small church car park by the cottage at the end of the path, otherwise parking is available on the side of the road.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1932, 4-3-2
  2. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1820, 5-0-3
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1932, 5-1-23
  4. John Greene I, Worcester, 1599, 5-1-20
  5. John Greene II, Worcester, 1626, 9-2-0
  6. Worcester Foundry, 1482, 12-0-14 in F sharp

(Data:Walters 1930, DPB 17/3/93, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Hagley, S John the Baptist, 8 bells, Tenor 8-3-26, Grid Ref: SO921808

The church is situated on the estate of Hagley Hall, with a car parking area up a drive with speed-bumps in front of the building. Most of the church dates from only 1858-1865, and the bells were added in 1885. The tower steps are inside the church at the base of the tower, and the ringing chamber is a little cramped. The bells go well, but are a little bit odd-struck.

  1. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1885, 3-1-18
  2. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1885, 3-2-0
  3. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1885, 3-2-0
  4. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1885, 4-2-8
  5. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1885, 5-0-6
  6. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1885, 5-3-0
  7. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1885, 6-0-14
  8. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1885, 7-3-12 in F#

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993, C.Povey 2006)

 

Hallow, SS Philip & James, 8 bells, Tenor 21-2-17, Grid Ref: SO828579

These are an excellent sounding ring of eight bells, although the tower movement sometimes makes them a little tricky, especially the 6th and 7th. They were cast by Taylors and are hung in a cast iron 'H' pattern frame, with ball bearings fitted by Mears and Stainbank in 1937. Access is inside the church on the south wall of the tower. The church itself dates from 1867-9, replacing an earlier church containing three bells. The tenor of these old bells still survives in the mission chapel at Broadheath. There are many steps up the present tower, and some parking is available in the churchyard on the north side of the church. This can become very muddy in the winter. The nearest pub is "The Crown", about 1/4 mile north of the church, on the main road.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 5-2-14
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 5-3-21
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 7-0-2
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 7-3-18
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 10-0-27
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 11-2-23
  7. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 14-3-19
  8. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 21-2-17 in E

(Data:DPB 1993)

 

Hanbury, S Mary the Virgin, 8 bells, Tenor 12-1-15, Grid Ref: SO954644

These are another fine Taylor ring, rehung in a new metal frame in 2000. Access is via a wooden staircase to the left as you enter the church from underneath the western tower, which was built in 1793. The present ring, which were the last ring of Taylor bells cast before the second world war, replaced a ring made up from a mixture of bells by Thomas Mears (1,2:1815), Richard Sanders (3,4:1720), Henry Bagley (5:1678) and John Rudhall (6,7,8:1792). (This data:Walters 1930) This village is the basis for Ambridge in the Archers radio 'soap', and the recordings of the bells here are sometimes heard on the radio. (See also under Inkberrow.)

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1939, 3-2-11
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1939, 3-3-17
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1939, 4-1-13
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1939, 5-0-17
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1939, 5-3-9
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1939, 6-2-13
  7. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1939, 8-3-6
  8. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1939, 12-1-15 in F sharp

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Hanley Castle, S Mary the Virgin, 6 bells, Tenor 14-0-0, Grid Ref: SO838420

The bells here are a very fine sounding ring. They were rehung in a frame for eight by Taylors in 1925 when the front 3 were recast, and the back 3 retuned. The bells were originally rung from the ground floor. Nearly 70 years on, the octave has yet to be completed, and they would make a very good ring of eight. Access is via a small outside door in the south wall of the tower. The brick tower was built in 1674, but some parts of the nave are Norman. Parking is in the lane up to the church, outside The Three Kings pub, a former winner of CAMERA pub of the year.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1925, 5-2-4
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1925, 6-0-16
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1925, 7-0-21
  4. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1699, 7-3-13
  5. G.Mears, London, 1858, 9-3-25
  6. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1699, 14-0-0 in F

(Data:DPB 1991)

 

Hanley Swan, S Gabriel, 6 bells, Tenor 6-1-10, Grid Ref: SO810428

These are a complete Warners 6 which now go and sound very nice. A major restoration was completed in 2009 when the bells were retuned and rehung on all new fittings in the existing Warner's frame. Access is via an outside staircase hidden behind the north west buttress of the tower, and ample parking is available in the car park to the east of the Church.

  1. John Warner, London, 1872, 3-1-19
  2. John Warner, London, 1872, 3-2-7
  3. John Warner, London, 1872, 3-3-0
  4. John Warner, London, 1872, 4-1-22
  5. John Warner, London, 1872, 5-1-4
  6. John Warner, London, 1872, 6-1-1

(Data:Walters 1930), corrections from ADH via online Dove 1/12/09

 

Hartlebury, S James the Great, 8 bells, Tenor 17-2-22, Grid Ref: SO841709

The tower was built in 1587. These were formerly a ring of five, augmented to six in 1812, and again to eight in 1900. Taylors rehung them in 1959. Access to the ringing chamber is via an open stone staircase inside the tower.

  1. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1900, 5-3-18
  2. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1900, 5-3-4
  3. John Bryant, Hertford, 1812, 7-0-17
  4. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1900, 8-0-20
  5. Thomas Hancox, Walsall, 1640, 8-3-20
  6. Henry Mitchell, Lichfield ?, c1350, 10-3-26
  7. Thomas Hancox, Walsall, 1640, 11-2-0
  8. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1749, 17-2-22 in E flat

(Data:Walters1930)

 

Harvington, S James, 6 bells, Tenor 8-1-14, Grid Ref: SP057488

The bells were hung dead when they were installed, and were hung for full circle ringing with all new fittings in a new frame in 1998 by Hayward Mills Associates. They are a lovely little ring, although the 4th shouts a bit as it is hung underneath the other bells. Access is via a door in the south wall of the tower, and up a open wooden stair case through a trap door. There is a little bit of parking in the road past the church.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1947, 3-0-12
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1947, 3-1-20
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1947, 4-0-26
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1947, 4-3-10
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1947, 6-0-2
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1947, 8-1-14

(Data:Bob Smith, Chris Povey 1998)

 

Himbleton, S Mary Magdalene, 4 bells, Tenor 9.25cwt, Grid Ref: SO946588, UNRINGABLE

A complete four by John Martin of Worcester cast in 1675. The bells have rather quaint and interesting inscriptions. The mediaeval frame is built into the weather-boarded timber tower, and was altered in the 17th century. The fittings are mid 19th century, and are in reasonable condition, but the 1910 clock was installed without much forethought, and the hammers and other parts of the clock prevent the treble and tenor from being swung. The organ and the clock are both in the way of the rope circle, and so the bells can not have been rung since 1910. They are tuned as 1,2,3 and tenor of a ring of 5.

  1. John Martin, Worcester, 1675 in D
  2. John Martin, Worcester, 1675 in C
  3. John Martin, Worcester, 1675 in B
  4. John Martin, Worcester, 1675, 9.25cwt in G

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1970)

 

Hinton on the Green, S Peter, 8 bells, Tenor 10-1-8, Grid Ref: SP025400

There is some parking in the road outside the church. The ringing gallery may be reached from a wooden ladder at the back of the church. The tower is 15th C, although some parts of the church, including the nave and chancel, are Norman. The original five bells were augmented to eight in 1931 by Taylors, who extended the original frame by White's of Appleton, and all are hung on plain bearings. In the early part of the century, the local band had a good reputation for striking and peal ringing. William Clark cast the back six bells for Badsey in 1706, and Michael Bushell cast a ring for Pebworth in 1707, and in the same year, they cast the middle 4 at Henley in Arden and the 4 bells at Newbold Pacey, both in Warwickshire. Both were working in Evesham at that time, probably using the Bagley foundry in "Bell Barn" near the Bell Tower, the site of which has been confirmed by Chris Povey. More recent research by Chris Pickford suggests that the 3rd at Cropthorne is also by them.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1931, 3-3-17 (corrected from 3-3-27)
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1931, 4-1-2
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1931, 4-2-22
  4. Clark and Bushell, Evesham, 1705, 4-1-9
  5. Clark and Bushell, Evesham, 1705, 5-2-7
  6. Clark and Bushell, Evesham, 1705, 6-1-7
  7. Clark and Bushell, Evesham, 1705, 7-1-14
  8. Clark and Bushell, Evesham, 1705, 10-1-8 in G

(Data:DPB 27/3/93, correction CJP 28/8/07)

 

Holt, S Martin, 4 bells, Tenor 10-1-5, Grid Ref: SO829626 CHIMING ONLY

These were rehung dead as a chime by Mears in 1937, and are in a much decayed mediaeval oak frame. The original tenor was by John Greene I and the tower is not as old as the second bell, dating from the 15th C.

  1. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1713, 6-0-4
  2. (mediaeval, no inscription), c1340, 6-2-14
  3. John Greene II, Worcester, 1632, 8-1-20
  4. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1937, 10-1-15

(Data:C.J.Pickford1970,1993)

 

Inkberrow, S Peter, 6 bells, Tenor 10-2-4, Grid Ref: SP016572

Rehung in 1894, and again in 1990, they now go quite well but are little odd-struck. They hang in a wooden frame by Rudhall's bell-hanger John Jacques in 1845, and the present fittings are by Charles Carr in 1894. Access is via stone spiral steps in the south wall of the tower, and entry is from inside the church. The tower dates from c1480-1500. The nearest pub to the church is the best in the village, and it is supposed to be the model for "The Bull" in Ambridge. (also see under Hanbury)

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1868, 5-1-2
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1868, 5-3-13
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1868, 7-0-14
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1868, 7-1-18
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1868, 7-2-15
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1868, 10-2-4 in G

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Ipsley, Redditch, S Peter, 6 bells, Tenor 9-2-13, Grid Ref: SP066666

These are quite nice bells, and are pleasant to ring. The west tower is 15th C, and the present 4th bell was hung at that time. John Martin cast two more bells in 1664 during the Restoration period following the Cromwellian Commonwealth. There is some parking in the road outside the church. Until 1971 there were only three bells here. The frame and fittings are by Taylors in 1971 when the ring was completely restored, the tenor recast, and augmented to six.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1971, 3-2-11
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1971, 4-0-12
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1971, 4-3-20
  4. Worcester Foundry, c1410, 5-3-17
  5. John Martin, Worcester, 1664, 7-2-6
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1971, 9-2-13 in G sharp

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Kemerton, S Nicholas, 6 bells, Tenor 12cwt, Grid Ref: SO946368

The ringing chamber is at ground floor level, and the bottom of the tower is 13th C, being finished off in the 16th C. The inscription and date on the third has been obliterated, but 1753 or 1755 can just about be seen. It would seem that this was an odd bell which Abel Rudhall had in stock, but which fitted into the ring musically. Rather than duplicate the inscription on another bell and include a different date, he removed them. This can also be seen at Bromsberrow, Glos. There are many instances where one bell in a ring by Rudhall has a date different from the others, but it is usually the date of a later year. Quite often, this signifies that a bad bell was replaced during the normal guarantee period of a year and a day. All six bells are hung on metal headstocks, with ball bearings, from the Whitechapel foundry in 1968. The oak frame dates from c1800.

  1. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1754, 4.5cwt
  2. Thomas Mears, Gloucester, 1844, 5.5cwt
  3. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1753 or 1755, 6.5cwt
  4. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1754, 7cwt
  5. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1754, 8.5cwt
  6. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1754, 12cwt in G

(Data:Church Bells of Gloucestershire:1979)

 

Kempsey, S Mary the Virgin, 8 bells, Tenor 15-0-0, Grid Ref: SO848491

The corners of the nave are Norman, and the chancel is 13th C. The large west tower was added in c1400. It was at this church that Simon de Montford made his last Communion before fighting the battle of Evesham. There is some parking in the road outside the north west corner of the churchyard. The entrance is outside the tower in the north east corner of the tower. These are the only ringable anti-clockwise bells in the county. The bells sound very good, and go well, having been rehung and retuned in 1928 by Taylors. The cast iron headstocks and ball bearings also date from 1928. The wooden frame is mainly 17th century, and it is quite tall in profile. The lower members are perhaps a couple of hundred years older, and show that it was originally a short headed frame with queen-posts.

  1. Whitechapel, 2012, 5-0-6
  2. Whitechapel, 2012, 5-0-13
  3. Matthew Bagley I and Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1686, 5-2-6
  4. Matthew Bagley I and Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1686, 6-0-19
  5. Matthew Bagley I and Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1686, 6-2-6
  6. Matthew Bagley I and Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1686, 8-2-9
  7. Matthew Bagley I and Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1686, 10-0-23
  8. Thomas Mears, London, 1821, 15-0-0 in E

(Data:DPB 2/2/1993, C.J.Pickford 1993, John Eisel 1993)

 

Kidderminster, S Mary & All Saints, 13 bells, Tenor 25-2-0, Grid Ref: SO830769

The new 12 bells were dedicated on 29th February 2004, and replace a very poor example of a ring of 12. The two tenors of an old Rudhall eight were recast at different times, and augmented by Gillett and Johnson in 1935. Access is via an outside door in the south eastern corner of the tower, and then up some clockwise and then anti-clockwise steps. For a parish church, this building is exceptionally long. The old ring was removed from the tower in July 2003. The frame is in two tiers, and the old 5th bell has been preserved, complete with ringing fittings but with no rope holes to the ringing chamber, on the top tier.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2003, 5-1-16
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2003, 5-1-15
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2003, 5-1-7
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2003, 6-0-8
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2003, 6-2-10
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2003, 6-3-12
  7. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2003, 7-2-14
  8. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2003, 8-0-26
  9. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2003, 9-3-8
  10. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2003, 13-0-21
  11. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2003, 18-3-10
  12. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2003, 25-2-0

The details of the previous ring are :-

  1. Gillett & Johnson, Croydon, 1935, 5-0-2
  2. Gillett & Johnson, Croydon, 1935, 5-2-2
  3. Gillett & Johnson, Croydon, 1935, 5-2-9
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1882, 5-1-2
  5. (see above)
  6. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1754, 6-1-7
  7. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1754, 7-0-26
  8. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1754, 7-2-26
  9. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1754, 10-0-5
  10. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1754, 11-2-13
  11. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1867, 19-0-16
  12. C&G Mears, London, 1857, 24-2-22 in D

(Data:DPB 1/3/93, Chris Stuart 13/2/2003 and 4/3/2004, Chris Phillips 2/3/2004)

 

Leigh, S Edburga, 6 bells, Tenor 17.5cwt, Grid Ref: SO784534

There is some parking in the road past the church, and access to the ringing chamber is via an inside door to the right as you enter the church, and up the steps in the south west corner of the tower. These are a nice sounding ring of six, but a very low ceiling in the ringing chamber can make the back bells a little difficult to ring. Unless you pull the rope all the way down, it is possible for the sally to remain in the clock room! The ringing chamber floor slopes somewhat. They are hung in a wooden frame with wooden headstocks on ball bearings. The tower dates from c1380. Also worth a visit is the large tithe barn next to the church, which is open during the summer months only. The frame was strengthened in 1904 by Greenleaf and Trintram of Hereford, and Gillett and Johnson rehung the bells on ball bearings in 1951.

  1. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1766, 6cwt
  2. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1711, 7cwt
  3. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1711, 8.5cwt
  4. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1711, 9.5cwt
  5. John Warner, London, 1863, 12.5cwt
  6. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1819, 17.5cwt in E

(Data:Walters 1930)

 

Leigh Sinton, Lower House Farm, 12 bells, Tenor 24.5oz, Grid Ref: SO778511

These are a private ring of servants' bells hung for ringing. The bells were collected from various antique markets, and their origins are unknown. Originally, they had Meccano headstocks and frame, ball bearings, cardboard wheels, and miniature ropes. Recent work on the bells involved adding two trebles and a semitone bell, and a new fabricated steel frame for 15 bells. Ringing is strictly by invitation only. Photographs and more information were printed in the Ringing World, Issue 4262/3 January 1/8 1993, page 8. The bells were rung to a quarter peal of Cambridge S.Royal on 17/11/93. The first peal, Cambridge S.Minor, was rung on 16/2/94 on the back six bells in 1 hour and 41 minutes.

  1. ?
  2. ?
  3. 4.5 oz
  4. 4.5 oz
  5. 5.5 oz
  6. 6 oz
  7. 6 oz
  8. 8.5 oz
  9. 9 oz
  10. 10.5 oz
  11. 13 oz
  12. 24.5 oz in C

Flat 6th, ?

(Data:Chris Phillips 1993,2000)

 

Little Comberton, S Peter, 6 bells, Tenor 13-1-18, Grid Ref: SO967428

The church dates from the 12th century, and the north and south walls of the present nave are part of this original building. The building is believed to stand on the site of a Roman temple, and artifacts from that period have been found in the churchyard. In 1264, the Prior of Pershore Abbey ordered that the bodies of all those holding land in the surrounding villages were to be buried in the Abbey, whilst those holding no land were to be buried in Little Comberton. The stone benches in the porch (dated 1639) have hands carved in them, said to be the hands of newly married brides. There are more carvings on the doorway into the ringing chamber, one hand and, below it, that of a boot. The bells are not particularly tuneful, and need pulling. The steps up the 15th century tower have two doors, one inside and one outside. Either one may be in use. Parking is on the grass verge down Manor Lane, outside the church.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1866, 6-2-8
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1866, 7-2-4
  3. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1750
  4. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1750
  5. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1750
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1866, 13-1-18 in G

(Data:Walters 1930, Church guide 1988, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Longdon, S Mary, 6 bells, Tenor 12cwt, Grid Ref: SO838363

Longdon bells are a complete 1835 ring by Thomas Mears. They were actually cast at Gloucester before the foundry was shut down after being bought from John Rudhall. The table of weights in the tower incorrectly states that the bells were cast at the Whitechapel foundry. The back five sound very nice, but the treble is slightly flat of its proper note. However, they go quite well. Rudhall's bell hanger, Edwin Jacques, made the frame for the bells in 1835, and the fittings were renewed by Mears & Stainbank in 1936. The access is via stairs in the north east corner of the tower (c1300), from inside the church (rebuilt 1786). Once up at the ringing chamber door, there is a ladder back down onto the ringing chamber floor. Parking in the vicinity is difficult being on the side of the main road on a blind corner around the churchyard.

  1. Thomas Mears, Gloucester, 1835, 5cwt
  2. Thomas Mears, Gloucester, 1835, 5.5cwt
  3. Thomas Mears, Gloucester, 1835, 6.5cwt
  4. Thomas Mears, Gloucester, 1835, 7cwt
  5. Thomas Mears, Gloucester, 1835, 9cwt
  6. Thomas Mears, Gloucester, 1835, 12cwt in G

(Data:Walters 1930, Christmas Ringing World 1992, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Madresfield, S Mary the Virgin, 6 bells, Tenor 9-2-1, Grid Ref: SO805475

Originally installed in 1867 by J.Taylor & Co, these were a rather difficult ring, mainly due to the long rope length. The ring was remodelled in 2005 with the tenor (13-3-0) and 4th (9-3-2) of  the 1867 ring being scrapped, the others being retuned and two lighter trebles added. This work was undertaken by A.C.Berry.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2005, 4-1-11
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2005, 4-3-0
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1867, 5-3-0
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1867, 6-3-8
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1867, 7-2-14
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1867, 9-2-1 in Ab

(Data:DPB 1991, 25/9/2005, 31/12/2005, Andrew Higson 6/1/2006)

 

Malvern Link, S Matthias, 10 bells, Tenor 16-2-3, Grid Ref: SO783478

The Church was built in 1836, extended in 1881, and the tower was built in 1899. The bell frame and the tenor were installed in 1899 and bells 3-9 were cast on July 18th 1900, completing the octave. The bells were augmented to ten in 1994 and are an excellent Taylor ring, although the brick lined tower makes the acoustics a little indistinct. All are hung on ball bearings, and the frame is a large 'H' pattern one. Access is by means of the large door at the base of the tower, and there are 33 steps to the ringing room. The tenor is 16-2-3 in F sharp which is unusually heavy for the note. The best visitors' parking is in "Church Road", on the north side of the church. There are toilets inside the church.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1993, 4-0-10
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1993, 4-0-20
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 5-0-3
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 5-0-19
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 5-3-22
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 6-2-5
  7. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 7-3-19
  8. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 8-1-19
  9. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1900, 11-3-8
  10. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1899, 16-2-3 in F sharp

(Data:DPB 1994)

 

Martley, S Peter, 6 bells, Tenor 12-0-22, Grid Ref: SO756598

These are the oldest complete ring of six in the whole country. They were 'chip tuned' in 1914, and completely rehung and retuned in 1983/4 by the Whitechapel foundry. They are rung from the ground floor, and go quite well. The west tower is of brilliant red sandstone and there is plenty of parking in a car park below the church. The entrance to the church is through the south porch.

  1. Richard Keene, Woodstock, 1673, 4-1-2
  2. Richard Keene, Woodstock, 1673, 5-0-6
  3. Richard Keene, Woodstock, 1673, 5-3-16
  4. Richard Keene, Woodstock, 1673, 7-1-2
  5. Richard Keene, Woodstock, 1673, 8-3-16
  6. Richard Keene, Woodstock, 1673, 12-0-22 in F

(Data:Atlas of Bells, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Middle Littleton, S Nicholas, 6 bells, Tenor 12-2-27, Grid Ref: SP081470

These were rehung by Taylors in 1947, and go quite well. The ringing chamber is at ground floor level, and access is through the church. The tower is 13th C, with a 15th C upper stage. Matthew Bagley I and Henry Bagley II were brothers, and they worked in partnership from about 1679 until 1687, when Matthew moved to Evesham where he worked until his death in 1690.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1947, 5-0-13
  2. Matthew Bagley I and Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1685, 6-0-25
  3. Matthew Bagley I and Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1685, 6-1-27
  4. Matthew Bagley I and Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1685, 7-0-25
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1947, 9-0-12
  6. Matthew Bagley I and Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1685, 12-2-27 in G

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Norton, Evesham, S Egwin, 8 bells, Tenor 12-3-26, Grid Ref: SP042477

The ringing chamber is at ground floor level, and they go well, but the acoustics are not too good. The 3rd, 4th and tenor were retuned in 1975. The stone lectern dates from c1180-1190, and was dug up from the site of Evesham Abbey in 1813, and was installed in Norton church in 1865. The frame and fittings were provided by James Barwell of Birmingham in 1901 when he recast the 7th. When the 6th was recast and some other restoration done in 1974, the 3rd, 4th, 6th and tenor were the only bells sent to the foundry and weighed. The weight of the 7th was discovered in the Parish Records by Chris Pickford.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1947, 4-0-20
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1947, 4-2-16
  3. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1723, 4-3-7
  4. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1723, 5-2-12
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1936, 6-2-15
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1974, 7-2-10
  7. Barwell, Birmingham, 1901, 9-1-10
  8. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1723, 12-3-26 in F sharp

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993, 2003)

 

Offenham, SS Mary & Milburgh, 6 bells, Tenor 10-3-2, Grid Ref: SP053462

The bells at Offenham are a mixture of dates and founders, but sound nice. They were retuned in 1925, and hung in a new cast iron frame on ball bearings. Note that the 3rd and 4th are each lighter than the bell before. The ringing chamber is at ground floor level. Parking is in the road outside the church, or in the car park opposite. H.B.Walters suggests a chronogram on the 5th of 1216, with an added 'D' (500), this would give 1716. However, this is too late for William Clark, and a date of c1705 is more likely. The bell is not otherwise dated. The previous tenor was sent to the Rudhall foundry for recasting, arriving on 29th September 1829. The new bell was returned on 26th June 1830, nine months later.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1897, 4-0-27
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1897, 5-3-10
  3. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1732, 5-1-10
  4. William Bagley, Chacombe, 1701, 5-0-24
  5. William Clark, Evesham, c1705, 7-0-21
  6. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1830, 10-3-2 in F sharp

(Data:A.J.Brazier 1992, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Ombersley, S Andrew, 6 bells, Tenor 16-1-3, Grid Ref: SO845634

Small cars may drive through the church gate, and park at the base of the tower, but other vehicles will have to park in the road outside the church. Access to this tower is via an outside door at the south west corner of the tower, and the ringing chamber is a little cramped. The bells sound nice, and go very well, having been rehung and tuned by Taylors in 1936. The church was only built in 1824-9 in the Gothic Revival style, and the bell frame dates from this time. The building incorporates the 13th century chancel of the old church, which now forms a mausoleum.

  1. Matthew Bagley I and Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1682, 6-0-21
  2. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1828, 6-2-21
  3. Matthew Bagley I and Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1682, 8-0-9
  4. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1828, 9-0-19
  5. Matthew Bagley I and Henry Bagley II, Chacombe, 1682, 11-3-1
  6. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1828, 16-1-3 in E

(Data:Walters 1930, DPB 21/3/93, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Overbury, S Faith, 6 bells, Tenor 9-1-21, Grid Ref: SO957374

The central tower dates from the 15th C, but the louvres are 17th C. Access to the ringing chamber is from the outside door in the north east corner of the tower. The bells are not particularly tuneful, and are somewhat odd-struck. The fittings are by Mears & Stainbank, London, and date from 1948. The third is like bells at Higham Ferrers, Northants, and at Little Packington, and is probably by one of the Newcombes of Leicester.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1903, 4-2-13
  2. Purdue, Bristol, 1641, 5-0-1
  3. Newcombe, Leicester ?, undated, 5-0-21
  4. Robert Hendley, Gloucester, c1480, 6-1-9
  5. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1719, 7-1-8
  6. Purdue, Bristol 1641, 9-1-21 in G

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Pebworth, S Peter, 10 bells, Tenor 11-3-9, Grid Ref: SP129469

These were restored and augmented from 5 to 6 in 1986 by White's of Appleton, and augmented to eight in 1995 by Hayward Mills Associates. The treble to the 6 was a second hand bell from Cundall in North Yorkshire. In 1995, two trebles were added by Whitechapel and were cast with canons to match the existing bells, these being the first Whitechapel bells cast with canons since 1952. The two newest bells were also cast by Whitechapel and hung by Hayward Mills Associates. The ringing gallery is reached by a ladder inside the church. They sound nice and go well. A small car park is hidden behind the bus shelter.

  1. Whitechapel, 2002, 3-2-22 (not 3-2-2 as stated on tower's web site)
  2. Whitechapel, 2002, 3-3-14
  3. Whitechapel, 1995, 3-3-11
  4. Whitechapel, 1995, 4-0-9
  5. C & G Mears, London, 1854, 4-1-6
  6. Michael Bushell, Evesham, 1707, 4-3-2
  7. Michael Bushell, Evesham, 1707, 5-2-0
  8. Michael Bushell, Evesham, 1707, 6-0-24
  9. Michael Bushell, Evesham, 1707, 7-1-6
  10. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1732, 11-3-9 in F sharp

(Data:Chris Pickford 1971,1993, Chris Povey 17/6/2002)

 

Pendock, Unknown dedication, 4 bells, Tenor 7cwt, Grid Ref: SO817337, CHIMING ONLY

These are numbered 1,3,4 and 5 of a ring of 5, the second having disappeared long ago. They are hung dead for chiming, apart from the tenor which is hung for ringing. The frame is a 17th century five bell frame. The tone of the bells is very harsh and poor. The 3rd, by Abraham Rudhall I, is a very early example of his work. The church lies in a field far from the village, near where the A438 Ledbury-Tewkesbury road crosses the M50. The west tower is 14th C, and the building is now redundant.

  1. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1753
  2. bell missing
  3. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1686
  4. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1745
  5. Bond of Burford, 1908, 7cwt in A flat

(Data:Pickford 1970)

 

Pershore, Holy Cross (Abbey), 8 bells, Tenor 25.5cwt, Grid Ref: SO947457

These are notorious in the ringing fraternity for the unusual ringing chamber. The bells were originally all cast at the Rudhall foundry in Gloucester, as stated in the 1804 Rudhall catalogue. They were originally rung from a large ringing chamber above the chancel crossing. In the 1860s, the Abbey was restored, and the ringing chamber floor removed to let in more light to the church. To allow the bells to be rung, the architect built a wrought iron 'walled', timber platform placed in the middle of the tower on 16 inch cross beams across the void. Access to this 'cage' is first via the steps in the south (and only remaining) transept, and then across the roof of the transept. This brings you to the walkways in the central tower where you turn right, climb a short spiral staircase, and along another tight walkway. Now for the hard bit, as to gain access to the cage, it is necessary to climb an open iron spiral stair case, with a view of the floor of the church 72 feet below you through the steps. A short walk along a wooden bridge, and you are in the cage. The small bells go ok, but rope sight is difficult as the front four bells are in a straight line along one side of the cage. It is best to leave your bags, coats, etc, on the table in the centre of the cage, since items have been known to be dropped into the church below. The condition of the tower and bells is worsening. Money is presently being raised to restore the tower and church, and hopefully the bells will be rehung and augmented to 10, with the cage suitably enlarged, but there are problems with the conservationists. Estimates of the tenor weight vary from 23cwt up to 28cwt, but careful measurement indicates a weight of about 25.5cwt. The fittings were renewed by Taylors in 1959 and the bells form the heaviest ring of eight in the county. The rest of the Abbey is worth visiting. It was started in c689 as a Benedictine Abbey, but was rebuilt from c1100 onwards. The nave was destroyed in 1539, and the north transept fell down in 1689. The tower is 14th C, with Victorian pinnacles. Local parking is best outside the Parish Centre.

  1. Thomas Mears, London, 1814
  2. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1729
  3. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1729
  4. Barwell, Birmingham, 1897
  5. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1729
  6. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1729
  7. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1729
  8. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1729, 25.5cwt in D

(Data:Walters 1930)

 

Pershore, Parish Centre, 8 bells, Tenor 9-0-18, Grid Ref: SO948458

This is the former S.Andrew's church which closed in the early 1970s. It has now been deconsecrated, and converted into a Parish Centre. The bells are a 1715 Rudhall ring, rehung and augmented to 8 in 1981/2 after it ceased being a church. They are very nice to ring, and sound quite good. The ringing chamber may be reached up the staircase in the entrance lobby, and there are toilets inside the building. On street parking is available outside the centre and there a larger car park to the west of the Abbey.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1981, 3-1-22
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1981, 3-2-24
  3. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1715, 3-3-14
  4. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1715, 4-1-6
  5. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1715, 4-2-22
  6. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1715, 5-2-11
  7. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1715, 6-3-8
  8. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1715, 9-0-18 in G sharp

(Data:Roy K.Williams 1993)

 

Powick, S Peter, 6 bells, Tenor 19-1-19, Grid Ref: SO834515

These bells were rehung and retuned in recent years by the Whitechapel foundry. The old frame was substantially strengthened with new RSJ supports, and is positioned diagonally, with 1,2,3 and 4 around each of the corners, with 5 and 6 in the middle of the frame. Before rehanging, the bells were not easy to ring, and problems were known about for sometime before ringing had to stop. The bells were originally a complete Rudhall ring of 6, and were mentioned in the 1804 Rudhall catalogue, but all except the treble and 4th have been recast. The old fittings were by Mears and Stainbank in 1910, who also rehung them on ball bearings a few years later. At 19-1-19, they form the heaviest ring of six in the county. Access is by an outside door in the north wall of the tower, and there is a small car park at the end of the church drive. Some parts of the north and south transepts date from late Norman times, and the tower is 15th C. The bells sound very nice, and go well.

  1. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1705, 6-3-5
  2. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1910, 7-0-5
  3. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1910, 8-1-9
  4. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1705, 11-3-17
  5. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1910, 13-1-3
  6. Thomas Mears, London, 1833, 19-1-19 in E flat?

(Data:Walters 1930)

 

Redditch, S Stephen, 8 bells, Tenor 10-3-12, Grid Ref: SP042676

These are a flighty ring of eight and the ropes need to be pulled straight. Access is through the south door, and via the church rooms. The frame and fittings date from 1931, and are by Taylors. The two tier frame has bells 1,2,3 and 5 hung above the others.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1931, 3-3-2
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1931, 4-0-14
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1931, 4-2-22
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1931, 5-0-17
  5. Warner and Sons, London, 1857, 6-0-12
  6. Warner and Sons, London, 1857, 6-3-20
  7. Warner and Sons, London, 1857, 8-0-1
  8. Warner and Sons, London, 1857, 10-3-12 in G sharp

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Ripple, S Mary, 6 bells, Tenor 12-0-0, Grid Ref: SO876377

These bells sound excellent and go quite well. The central tower dates from the 15th C, except the upper balustrade which dates from 1713, renewed in 1797. The tower entrance is through the north transcept and up a twisted wooden staircase. Interestingly, the 1804 Rudhall catalogue mentions a complete ring of six here, so the present bells must replace an earlier Rudhall ring. The inside of the church is worth examining, especially the sixteen miserichords, twelve of which depict the labours of the months. The treble is a heavy bell for its note, and is actually heavier than the 4th. The bells were rehung in a new fabricated(!) steel frame with new fittings in 1922 by Taylors. The pre-tuning weights are in brackets.

  1. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1808, 7-1-5 (7-2-19)
  2. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1807, 5-3-21 (6-0-27)
  3. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1808, 6-2-0 (7-0-2)
  4. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1808, 6-2-10 (6-3-18)
  5. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1808, 9-0-0 (9-2-11)
  6. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1808, 12-0-0 (12-3-3) in F sharp

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993 and 16/12/2002)

 

Rock, SS Peter & Paul, 8 bells, Tenor 12-3-26, Grid Ref: SO732711

The nave and the western part of the chancel constitute the grandest Norman church in the county, and date from c1160. By the tower arch, are the former village stocks and whipping post. Unfortunately, the bells do not come up to the standard of the building in which they are hung. The tower entrance is outside in the north east corner of the tower.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1913, 3-1-21 (corrected from 3-3-21)
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1913, 3-2-4 (corrected from 3-3-4)
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1913, 4-2-0
  4. Unknown founder, 1738, 5-2-0
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1913, 6-0-8
  6. C&G Mears, London, 1853, 7-2-7
  7. Unknown founder, 1738, 10-3-14
  8. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1913, 12-3-26 in F

(Data:Walters 1930, corrections CJP 28/8/07)

 

Salwarpe, S Michael, 6 bells, Tenor 11-2-05, Grid Ref: SO874621

Ringing here has started again after a major restoration ending many decades of silence. The tower is 15th C, but the arcades date from c1200. Originally a ring of 5 by John Martin cast in 1684. The tenor was removed in 1846 and recast by C+G Mears at Rudhall's Gloucester foundry to make two new trebles and augment the ring to six. In 2000, Taylors recast the two Mears bells and cast two new bells to replace the old fifth (John Martin, Worcester, 1684, 5-1-12) and tenor (John Martin, Worcester, 1684, 9-0-15). The fourth was left untuned. The bells were hung in a new steel frame with all new fittings by Hayward Mills Associates in 2000. The bells sound very nice and go very well. There is a small amount of parking on top of the canal bridge.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2000, 4-1-26, 27"
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2000, 4-3-25, 28.5"
  3. John Martin, Worcester, 1684, 5-2-1, 31.5"
  4. John Martin, Worcester, 1684, 4-3-21, 31"
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2000, 8-1-0, 35"
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 2000, 11-2-5, 39" in G sharp

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 4/10/2002, DPB 14/2/2004)

 

Severn Stoke, S Denys, 5 bells, Tenor 18cwt, Grid Ref: SO856440, UNRINGABLE

The problem here is that the 13th C tower is not strong enough, and the frame (by Bond of Burford, 1900) moves against the tower, hitting it, acting as a battering ram. A try-out in the 1970s was enough for the whole installation to be condemned as unringable.

  1. John Martin, Worcester, 1648
  2. Bond of Burford, 1900
  3. John Martin, Worcester, 1661
  4. Newcombe, Leicester, 1605
  5. John Martin, Worcester, 1648, 18cwt in E flat

(Data:Walters 1930)

 

Shelsley Beauchamp, All Saints, 6 bells, Tenor 10-1-20, Grid Ref: SO731629

These are rung from the ground floor at the back of the church, and apart from the 4th, are on plain bearings. They are not very well in tune, and are not easy to ring. Parking is in the road outside the church. It is best to park on the north side. The 14th C tower is the oldest part of the church, the rest of which was rebuilt in 1846-7. The tenor and the 4th have received attention in 1986 by Arthur Berry. The frame is by Greenleaf and Tristram, 1906.

  1. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1790, 4.75cwt
  2. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1790, 5.25cwt
  3. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1790, 6.25cwt
  4. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1790, 6-2-3
  5. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1790, 8.25cwt
  6. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1790, 10-1-20 in G

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Shrawley, S Mary, 6 bells, Tenor 9-0-10, Grid Ref: SO806648

Rehung in 1978/9 by Taylors, these bells sound nice and go well. The rehanging included the replacement of the old wooden bell frame with a new metal one, recasting the old 5th (by Abraham Rudhall I in 1705), and fitting all the bells with metal headstocks with ball bearings. The ground floor ringing chamber can be accessed from the main body of the church, or from a door in the west wall of the tower. Parking is in the road outside the church. If you look in the churchyard, you may see a sunken pathway leading away eastwards from the church door. This is the site of the main street of the original village, which was abandoned during the great plague. The church is mainly 12th C Norman, but the tower is 16th C, the east arch of which is a re-used window head.

  1. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1772, 4-2-15
  2. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1772, 4-0-0
  3. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1772, 4-3-27
  4. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1772, 5-1-9
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1978, 7-1-22
  6. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1705, 9-0-10 in G

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

South Littleton, S Michael, 3 bells, Tenor 8-1-1, Grid Ref: SP076463

Although only a three bell tower, these are hung on modern ball bearings in a two tier six bell 'H' pattern frame, installed in 1966 by Taylors. They are worthy of mention not only because they are ringable, but because they go well and sound good. The 2nd bell is a recasting of a cracked bell by Thomas Hancox of Walsall dated 1628. Excavations in 1883 between the font and the tower found a pit containing bell metal and charcoal. It is possible that this old 2nd was actually cast on the spot in 1628.

  1. Mediaeval Worcester Foundry, c1410, 4-0-17
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1901, 6-0-0
  3. Mediaeval Worcester Foundry, c1410, 8-1-1 in A

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Spetchley, All Saints, 4 bells, Tenor 6cwt, Grid Ref: SO896539

These are a complete mediaeval four, of which only one bell, the 3rd, has an inscription. This bell is an early work of Richard le Belyetere, of Worcester, c1430. All the letters of the inscription are crowned, and he also used Royal heads as word-stops. The frame is 18th century, and the fittings are from 1904 when the bells were rehung by James Barwell and Co. The bells do not conform to any known musical scale. The tower only dates from the late 16th C or early 17th C, and so is more recent than the bells within it. The church is now in the care of The Churches Conservation Trust as are Worcester S Swithun, Croome D'Abitot and Strensham.

  1. unknown mediaeval founder
  2. unknown mediaeval founder
  3. Richard le Belyetere, Worcester, c1430.
  4. unknown mediaeval founder, 6cwt in B flat

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1970)

 

Stanford on Teme, S Mary, 4 bells, Tenor 5cwt, Grid Ref: SO703657, UNRINGABLE

The treble is the same age and founder as the ring at Martley. Tradition says that the Martley bells were cast in the churchyard there, so it is possible that the treble bell here was also cast in the locality. It was quite common for bell founders to travel on an itinerant basis in those days, stopping off where they were needed to cast a bell. The third has a long crack from the waist to the soundbow, but the tenor is a particularly fine bell, of good shape and tone. The frame and fittings are both of mid 18th century vintage, and have been neglected to the point that they are unserviceable. The safety of the tower is also questionable. The present church appears to date from 1768-9, again being younger than all of the bells it contains, probably meaning that it was rebuilt on the site of a previous church.

  1. Richard Keene, Woodstock, 1673
  2. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1753
  3. Richard le Belyetere, Worcester, c1440 (cracked)
  4. Richard le Belyetere, Worcester, c1430, 5cwt

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1970)

 

Stoke Prior, S Michael, 8 bells, Tenor 8-3-18, Grid Ref: SO949677

These are very loud and 'clonky' inside the ringing chamber since they are only just above the ringing chamber. It is also possible to see daylight through some of the cracks in the tower. Access is to the left once you have entered through the main door in the west of the tower. The fine looking transeptual south tower dates from c1190-1210, although the spire seems to be of a later date. Six of the bells were recast in 1948, replacing bells by Carr of Smethwick (1st,2nd:1897), Blews of Birmingham (3rd,4th,8th:1886), and Henry Bagley of Chacombe (5th:1676). The fittings also date from 1948.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 3-1-16
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 3-2-20
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 3-3-14
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 4-1-5
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 5-1-13
  6. John Martin, Worcester, 1663, 5-2-0
  7. John Greene II, Worcester, 1620, 7-2-4
  8. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1948, 8-3-18 in A

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Stone, Blessed Virgin Mary, 6 bells, Tenor 5-3-18, Grid Ref: SO862750

These are a complete ring of six by Mears, cast in 1832. They are very high pitched for their weight, are loud in the ringing chamber, and are rather odd struck. The ringing room is up a wooden staircase, and the front bells are not easy to ring due to the proximity of the stairs and the banister. Interestingly, the Mears catalogue of 1921 gives the year of casting as 1830. There is some parking in the lane to the side of the church.

  1. Thomas Mears II, London, 1832, 3-0-4
  2. Thomas Mears II, London, 1832, 3-0-0
  3. Thomas Mears II, London, 1832, 3-0-19
  4. Thomas Mears II, London, 1832, 4-0-9
  5. Thomas Mears II, London, 1832, 4-1-20
  6. Thomas Mears II, London, 1832, 5-3-18 in B

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993) 

 

Stoulton, S Edmund K&M, 6 bells, Tenor 7-0-5, Grid Ref: SO906498

The heaviest ring in Stoulton, these are a very nice Mears six dating from 1936, when the tower was rebuilt. They go well an sound nice, but some rope noise makes them harder to hear. Access to the ringing gallery is via steps inside the church in the south wall of the tower. There is some parking outside the church.

  1. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1936, 3-1-16
  2. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1936, 3-2-16
  3. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1936, 4-1-15
  4. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1936, 4-2-9
  5. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1936, 5-1-19
  6. Mears and Stainbank, London, 1936, 7-0-5 in B

(Data:A.A.Jopp 1993, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Strensham, S John the Baptist, 6 bells, Tenor 11-0-8, Grid Ref: SO911406

After a period of silence when the Church was made redundant, the Churches Conservation Trust has restored the building and the bells can be rung again. The bells were last restored in 1911 by Taylors and hang in a large wooden frame positioned diagonally in the tower. There is some parking by the church, and the tower entrance is through the west doors, and up a few wooden steps to the ringing platform. The bells sound very nice with a good balance of volume, clarity and hum. They also go very well, and most visitors are unaware that they hang in what is basically a tall medieval frame and on swing plain bearings. I am the key holder and local contact, so e-mail me (see the top of this list for the address) if you want to arrange any ringing here. Have a look at this page for more details about Strensham bells.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1911, 3-3-23
  2. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1704, 5-0-23
  3. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1705, 5-1-26
  4. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1705, 5-3-15
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1911, 7-3-11
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1911, 11-0-8 in G

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Suckley, S John the Baptist, 6 bells, Tenor 11-3-20, Grid Ref: SO721517

The bells of Suckley are very loud and harsh in the ringing chamber. The frame is wooden and the supporting beams form part of the ringing room ceiling. The tower access is inside the church, in the south eastern corner of the tower. The church was rebuilt in 1878-9, and the old bells were transferred to the new church. There is parking in the lane outside the church, and the "Nelson Inn" at Longley Green (SO729504) is an excellent pub. The bells were hung on ball bearings in 1948 by Mears and Stainbank, and the headstocks and clappers of 3 and 6 were replaced in 1993/4, these bells being machined (and weighed) at Loughborough to fit the new headstocks.

  1. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1755
  2. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1710
  3. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1710, 5-3-26
  4. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1710
  5. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1710
  6. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1725, 11-3-20 in F#

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993, Andrew Higson via online Dove 23/7/08)

 

Tenbury Wells, S Mary, 6 bells, Tenor 10-0-11, Grid Ref: SO594684

Rehung and retuned in 1979, these are quite a nice ring. The ringing chamber access is via the wooden gallery at the back of the church. They sound nice, and go well. The tower is late Norman, and the rest of the church was restored in 1865. The Barwell bells replaced a ring of 6 Rudhall bells dating from 1787 (old treble) and 1720 (old 2-6), and the inscriptions of the old bells have been preserved on the new ones.

  1. Barwell, Birmingham, 1898, 4-1-8
  2. Barwell, Birmingham, 1898, 4-2-10
  3. Barwell, Birmingham, 1898, 5-2-1
  4. Barwell, Birmingham, 1898, 5-3-6
  5. Barwell, Birmingham, 1898, 7-3-3
  6. Barwell, Birmingham, 1898, 10-0-11 in G sharp

(Data:Walters 1930, DPB 8/5/1993, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Upper Arley, S Peter, 6 bells, Tenor 8-1-23, Grid Ref: SO764805

The best way to visit Upper Arley is by using the Severn Valley steam railway, which stops a short distance away from the church, across the river Severn. The bells go well and sound nice, having been rehung in 1970 by Taylors. The sandstone tower is post reformation, and has 18th C style louvres. The entrance is outside the church in the south eastern corner of the tower. Steam trains on the Severn Valley Railway can be seen (and heard) across the valley from the churchyard.

  1. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1753, 4-2-24
  2. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1753, 5-1-4
  3. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1753, 5-1-4
  4. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1753, 5-1-19
  5. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1753, 6-1-19
  6. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1753, 8-1-23 in F sharp

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Upton Snodsbury, S Kenelm, 6 bells, Tenor 16cwt, Grid Ref: SO943544

The old slender wooden frame was replaced in 1993/4 with a new metal one, the 3rd was welded and the 5th recast. Prior to rehanging, the bells were not at all in tune and were very tricky to ring. They are still rung from the ground floor, and now go much easier. They are a mixture of founders and dates. The ground floor ringing room is large and may be accessed from the west end of the church. Parking is in the road outside the east and south sides of the churchyard. The west tower dates from the 15th century. The third is the oldest example of a bell by Richard Sanders.

  1. Charles Carr, Smethwick, 1913, 5-1-12
  2. Charles Carr, Smethwick, 1913, 5-1-2
  3. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1703, 8-0-2 (welded 1994)
  4. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1793, 7-3-18
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1994, 11-0-8
  6. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1719, 14-1-22 in F

(Data:Walters 1930)

 

Upton on Severn, SS Peter & Paul, 8 bells, Tenor 11cwt, Grid Ref: SO852403

Six of the bells in Upton church used to hang in the c1300 "pepperpot" by the river bridge. The new church was built in 1878, but it is unlikely that the bells were moved there until 1902 when they were augmented to eight by Bond of Burford. The entrance to the ringing chamber is inside the north porch under the tower. The composite wood and metal frame, the fittings, and the two trebles are by Bond of Burford. The two trebles of 1902 have been chip-tuned. The tenor has a cast iron Mears headstock, and the rest are wooden. The sixth rope is sometimes prone to slipping the wheel, and the acoustics are a little unclear. There is a small car park across the road, otherwise it is possible to park in the road by the church. There are some public toilets on the east side of the "pepperpot" close to the river.

  1. Bond of Burford, 1902
  2. Bond of Burford, 1902
  3. Thomas Mears, Gloucester, 1837
  4. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1705
  5. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1705
  6. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1705
  7. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1705
  8. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1705, 11cwt in G

(Data:Walters 1930)

 

Welland, S James, 6 bells, Tenor 10-2-22, Grid Ref: SO796399

The best parking is across the main road outside the new church hall by the village school. These are a nice sounding six which go quite well, although the tower does sway slightly. Access is via an inside stair well in the south west of the tower. The 5th rope is slightly obstructed by a clock shaft. The bells were rehung on ball bearings in 1936.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1874, 4-2-6
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1874, 5-1-10
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1874, 5-2-8
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1874, 6-0-12
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1874, 7-3-12
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1874, 10-2-22 in A flat

(Data:C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Wolverley, S John the Baptist, 8 bells, Tenor 9-2-10, Grid Ref: SO829794

These were rehung in 1987/8 by Arthur Berry and Taylors, and were augmented in 1991, and now form a nice light eight. Access is via a wooden stair case on the right as you enter from the bottom of the tower. There is a small car park at the end of the lane off the roundabout. The church dates from 1772, and the tower is unusual in shape, and is constructed of brick. The 3rd is not dated, but is probably of the same date as the tenor.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1991, 3-3-17
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1991, 4-1-2
  3. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1737 ?, 4-1-2
  4. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1788, 4-1-18
  5. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1789, 5-1-4
  6. Charles Carr, Smethwick, 1896, 5-3-24
  7. John Rudhall, Gloucester, 1788, 6-3-20
  8. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1737, 9-2-10 in G

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Worcester Cathedral, 15 bells, Tenor 48-0-2, Grid Ref: SO849545

These are a glorious heavy twelve (with a 4b, 6b and 8b) and are probably the finest sounding in their category anywhere. They are, however, not very easy to ring. The bells are hung in the central tower inside a huge pitched pine 'wigwam', installed when the bells were recast by Taylors in 1868-9 to the specifications of Lord Grimthorpe. These old bells were cast to ridiculous proportions, the tenor being about 55cwt in D. Their tone was so poor, that Taylors recast the lot in 1928, producing the present ring. Access is by the door in the north transept and the climb is long with many steps. Once up into the void above the vaulting, walk across the walkway, and into the base of the tower. The steps continue in the far left corner of the tower, and the ringing chamber is through the first door. Some of the old bells of the ring prior to 1868 are preserved in the cloisters, together with the oldest dated bell in the county, cast at Worcester in 1480. The corrected weights for 1,2,3,4,4b,5 and 12 are taken from Taylor's job-book by Andrew Bull.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1928, 6-3-8
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1928, 7-1-16
  3. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1928, 7-2-20
  4. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1928, 7-3-25
  5. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1928, 8-2-19
  6. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1928, 10-0-6
  7. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1928, 12-0-1
  8. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1928, 14-3-26
  9. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1928, 20-0-6
  10. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1928, 25-2-10
  11. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1928, 34-3-4
  12. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1928, 48-0-2 in B

Semitone bells:

(Data:Walters 1930, Andrew Bull 27/1/2004)

 

Worcester, All Saints, 12 bells, Tenor 20-1-1, Grid Ref: SO848549

The church was rebuilt in 1741 by Thomas White, a local architect, and the upper stages of the tower are of this date. The back ten bells, except the tenor, are Rudhall bells. The tenor was recast by Mears, and the same foundry provided the two trebles in 1977. The back ten bells were all rehung in a new frame lower in the tower and retuned in 1974. They are one of the easiest and clearest twelves to listen to, as all the bells ring out very clearly. A certain amount of tower movement makes ringing some of them a little tricky, but for a light 12, they are very nice. Access is via inside stairs in the south western corner of the tower. The main church entrance is on the north side of the church, up a small flight of stone steps. Parking close to the church is difficult, but there are several pay and display car parks within a short walk. Note that a 20 pence charge is in force in these car parks in the evenings. The tower has had its decorative balustrade replaced recently.

  1. Whitechapel, 1977, 4-1-1
  2. Whitechapel, 1977, 4-2-10
  3. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1773, 4-3-2
  4. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1752, 5-3-23
  5. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1750, 5-1-24
  6. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1750, 5-2-19
  7. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1692, 5-2-9
  8. Abel Rudhall, Gloucester, 1753, 6-2-21
  9. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1692, 8-1-19
  10. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1692, 9-3-23
  11. Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1692, 13-3-26
  12. Thomas Mears, 1805, 20-1-1 in E flat

(Data DPB:1993)

 

Worcester, S John the Baptist, 8 bells, Tenor 15-1-16, Grid Ref: SO840544

These are quite a nice eight, and go well. The trebles tend to shout a bit, especially when the bells are nearly down. Access is by stairs in the north west corner of the tower, from within the vicar's office at the rear of the church. The outside door is on the south of the tower, and the inside door handle slides sideways, although it looks like it should turn like a normal knob! There is a small church car park next to the tower. The tower is 15th C, but some of the church is 12th C. There are toilets in the rooms at the back of the church, and they can usually be opened on request.

  1. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1930, 4-3-4 (corrected from 5-0-24, bell dated 1929)
  2. John Taylor, Loughborough, 1930, 5-1-16 (corrected from 5-2-26, bell dated 1929)
  3. Thomas Mears, London, 1816, 6-1-16
  4. Thomas Mears, London, 1816, 6-3-16
  5. Thomas Mears, London, 1816, 7-3-19
  6. Thomas Mears, London, 1816, 9-0-20
  7. Thomas Mears, London, 1816, 10-3-23
  8. Thomas Mears, London, 1816, 15-1-16 in F

(Data:DPB 13/2/93, CJP 1993, corrections CJP 28/8/07)

 

Worcester, S Martin, 6 bells, Tenor 13cwt, Grid Ref: SO852550, UNRINGABLE

The main problem here is the weak frame and tower, which prevents the bells from being rung. The church is of brick and was built in 1768-72. The small Sanctus bell (1621) is by the same unknown founder as the 6th and 7th at Great Malvern Priory. The present church, of brick, was designed by Anthony Keck, and erected in 1768 to replace a medieval church. The old bells were transferred into the new tower. There are currently plans to install a new ring of 8 in the tower.

  1. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1780
  2. Thomas Mears, London, 1833, 6-0-19
  3. Henry Mitchell, Lichfield ?, c1320
  4. Hugh Watts of Leicester, 1638
  5. Hugh Watts of Leicester, 1638
  6. Hugh Watts of Leicester, 1640, 13cwt in G

(Data:Walters 1930, C.J.Pickford 1993)

 

Worcester, S Nicholas, 6 bells, Tenor 11cwt, Grid Ref: SO850550, UNRINGABLE

These can not be rung for many reasons, mainly the tower which is unsafe. The church is rectangular in shape, and dates from 1730-1735. The 4th and 5th bells are older than the church. The bells are hung in a massive, but derelict, frame. The church has now been declared redundant and is now in use as a cafe and bar, so there is now little chance of these bells ever being rung again. The bells have not been rung since 1938.

  1. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1770
  2. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1770
  3. William Brook, Bromsgrove, 1741
  4. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1720
  5. Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove, 1715
  6. Thomas Rudhall, Gloucester, 1770, 11cwt in G

(Data:Walters 1930)

 

Worcester, S Swithun, 6 bells, Tenor 13-0-21, Grid Ref: SO851549

These are Worcester's only ringable six, and are hung in a redundant church which was rebuilt in 1736. The bells were rehung in the 1970s in a new metal frame positioned below the old wooden one, and almost immediately became redundant. If Martley are the oldest complete 6 in the whole country, these are the oldest 6 on average. They sound nice for such old bells, and go quite well. The ringing room floor is a little uneven. Inside the church, the three tier Georgian pulpit, and the box pews are worthy of note. Parking outside the church is for disabled badge holders only, but there are a few pay and display car parks quite close by. The entrance to the church is usually the one in the north east corner of the building, and the tower steps are in the north east corner of the tower. Sometimes, the main doors under the tower are used.

  1. John Martin, Worcester, 1654, 6-2-24
  2. John Martin, Worcester, 1654, 6-2-10
  3. Worcester Foundry, c1410-1430, 6-0-6
  4. Worcester Foundry, c1410-1430, 8-0-12
  5. Worcester Foundry, c1410-1430, 10-2-17
  6. John Martin, Worcester, 1654, 13-0-21 in F

(Data:DPB 1993)

 

Wychbold, S Mary de Wyche, 6 bells, Tenor 11.5cwt, Grid Ref: SO929658

This tower has a link with the famous tower at Pisa, since it leans quite alarmingly. In fact, the whole church leans as it is on a large "raft". The subsidence is due to brine extraction in the area. When you climb up the spiral stair case on the north side of the tower, the steps seem to get shallower and then steeper as you go around. Once in the ringing chamber, the floor also slopes a lot. The front bells are in the 'shallow' end, and the back bells in the 'deep' end! One side of the frame has actually been packed to level it up. The bells go ok, and sound alright. There is some parking on the side of the road outside the church. Surprisingly, the church only dates from 1888, and Walters (1930) does not mention these bells, except in passing. The transmitting masts for Radio 4 long wave (198kHz) are just behind the church.

  1. Barwell, Birmingham, 1889
  2. Barwell, Birmingham, 1889
  3. Barwell, Birmingham, 1889
  4. Barwell, Birmingham, 1889
  5. Barwell, Birmingham, 1889
  6. Barwell, Birmingham, 1889, 11.5cwt in G sharp

(Some data:DPB 1991, Jeff Webb 1993)

 

Books/Publications used in collecting this information.