A guide to the Church Bells
in the County of Kent,
(the local authorities of
Kent, Medway and certain London boroughs).

Compiled by Dickon Love MBE
with grateful thanks to all those who have contributed to this research, particularly
the Rev'd David Cawley and Chris Pickford.

All contributions, including photographs of belfries and peal boards are gratefully received and will be credited.

Click here to download the map poster.

Rev'd David L Cawley RIP
I am sorry to report the passing of the Revd David L Cawley of Canterbury who died in the morning of 6 February, aged 79, following a battle with cancer. A Man of Kent, David was a well known authoritative bell historian who contibuted heavily to Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent which he and I always considered to be 'our' project. He served as DAC Bells Advisor for the Canterbury & Rochester Dioceses and oversaw many bell projects in Kent. These ranged from salvaging and reusing bells in the county to generously donating bells in, amongst other places, Whitstable (St Alphege) and Monkton. A very good friend to so many, he will be greatly missed.
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Broken bell at Lee
The 9th bell (A sharp) of the chime of 16 at Lee has broken around the crown following the expansion of rusted bolts holding the bell to the frame. A restoration is planned.
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Farnborough augmented to 8
The small ring of 6 has now been augmented to 8 with a new treble and new tenor added on either end of the ring, cast by John Taylor & Co. The 4th was tuned down a semitone to form the 6th of the new scale of D major. New framework was built with the 7th now in an upper tier. The clock bell was removed from its position hanging from the ceiling with its future under discussion. They were chimed as an 8 on 1st April, pending full ringing when the pandemic is over.
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Faversham augmented to 10
The 8 bells have now been augmented to 10 with 2 trebles cast by John Taylor & Co, who have tuned the bells (apart from the old 6th) and hung them in the old frame with new framework for the old trebles above.
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Covid interrupts restoration at Swalecliffe
The single bell has been restored by John Taylor & Co and has now returned to Swalecliffe, following a delay introduced by Swalecliffe.
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Latest Updates
27 Nov 23Boughton under BleanInscriptions, belfry photos, frame added
27 Nov 23Lee, St MargaretAdditional photographs of the belfry and broken bell (thanks to Bill Hibbert)
14 Oct 23SnodlandBelfry photo and frame drawing
13 Aug 23Cliffe-at-HooImages from Taylor archives (thanks to Chris Pickford)
02 Aug 23Deptford (St Paul)Comprehensive update following visit by Bill Hibbert (best thanks)
29 May 23CheritonAs received weights 2011 added
29 May 23BrenchleyAs received weights 1924 added
29 May 23KenningtonAs received weights 1971 added
29 May 23PluckleyAs supplied weights 1853 added
29 May 23Seal ChartAs supplied weights 1888 added
29 May 23Westgate-on-SeaAs received weights 1975 added
29 May 23YaldingAs supplied weights 1696 added
29 May 23Deptford (St Nicholas)Frame details
27 Mar 23St Nicholas at WadePhotos of belfry (thanks to Joe Aust) and frame details
11 Mar 23FarnboroughUpdated all details plus peal boards and belfry photos
01 Mar 23Sittingbourne (St Mary)Photo of old bell (Matthew Higby)
23 Jan 23FairseatUpdated info and gallery following inspection by Kye Leaver
02 Jan 23FavershamAdditional peal boards
02 Jan 23TenterdenPeal boards (thanks to Mark Chittenden-Pile)
02 Jan 23WittershamPeal boards (thanks to Martin Marshall)
27 Dec 22LuddesdownUpdated tenor weight
27 Dec 22BredgarUpdated tenor weight
27 Dec 22Eltham (Holy Trinity)Added tenor weight
23 Dec 22Boughton StreetNew page noting bell under spirelet
23 Dec 22Deal (St Richard)New page noting bell on bracket on chimney

Dickon Love MBE is an active bellringer in the City of London and is a Past Master and Past Hon Librarian of the Ancient Society of College Youths, who are responsible for ringing the bells at the major towers in the City. He is Tower Keeper/Captain at St Magnus the Martyr, St James Garlickhythe and St Mary Woolnoth. He conceived and ran the projects to install the new bells at St Magnus the Martyr, St Dunstan-in-the-West and St James Garlickhythe. The latter of these are the Royal Jubilee Bells which he managed when they rang on the River Thames, leading the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. He is Churchwarden at St Magnus the Martyr, Parish Clerk of St Clement Eastcheap and the 'Company Bellringer' for the Worshipful Company of Parish Clerks.  He is also a member of the Cambridge University Guild and resident member of the Middlesex County Association & London Diocesan Guild, and is a Life Member of the Kent County Association.  His primary interest is in the history of bells and bell towers, and the focus of his research is on the the Cities of London and Westminster and the County of Kent.  He makes his living as a management consultant working in central government and his other interests concern learning the Polish language and running marathons. In 2024 he was awarded the MBE for services to bellringing in London and Kent.

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent