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DOVER, St James the Apostle, Old Church

Photo DLC collection dated 1910
Formerly 6 bells
Tenor 17 cwt approx.
Canterbury District
Frame: 17th/18th Century timber
Retuning: Never subsequently retuned
Bells sold in 1862 to pay for bells in the New Church. Replacement bell sold to All Saints, Spring Park, Shirley, Croydon.
Tower collapsed 1951.

The church pictured in c.1910.

DETAILS OF THE BELLS

Bell Weight Diameter Cast Founder

1

5 cwt approx.

30"

?

Unknown

2

6 cwt approx.

33"

1637

John Wilnar

3

8 cwt approx.

37"

1637

John Wilnar

4

9 cwt approx.

38"

1637

John Wilnar

5

12 cwt approx.

43"

1637

John Wilnar

6

17 cwt approx.

47"

1637

John Wilnar

The founder of the treble is not known, but was presumably either Robert Catlin or Thomas Lester. Following the disposal of these bells in 1862, the following single bell was installed:
Bell Weight Diameter Cast Founder

Single Bell

3 cwt approx.

24"

1872

John Warner & Sons

INSCRIPTIONS

1.

LD GR SACKWELL TS REVELL ESQRE GAVE ME IA GODWIN THOS KID

2.
IOHN Diamond.gif (1312 bytes) WILNAR Diamond.gif (1312 bytes) MADE Diamond.gif (1312 bytes) ME  1637 (crest)
3.
IOHN Diamond.gif (1312 bytes) WILNAR Diamond.gif (1312 bytes) 1637
4. IOHN WILNAR (crest)
5.
IOHN Diamond.gif (1312 bytes) WILNAR Diamond.gif (1312 bytes) MADE Diamond.gif (1312 bytes) ME  1637
6.
IOHN Diamond.gif (1312 bytes) WILNAR Diamond.gif (1312 bytes) MADE Diamond.gif (1312 bytes) ME  1637  W Diamond.gif (1312 bytes) W (crest) R Diamond.gif (1312 bytes) S  C Diamond.gif (1312 bytes) W
The single 1872 bell is inscribed:
S. CAST BY JOHN WARNER & SONS LONDON 1872

HISTORY

1637

Ring of 5 bells cast by John Wilnar.

1724

The church was visited by the College Youths prior to a peal at St Mary the Virgin.

1748

A treble was given to augment the ring to 6. It is not known who cast it, but it was probably Robert Catlin or Thomas Lester.

1862

The church was sold and the bells sold to Naylor Vickers to pay for steel bells in the New Church. The building was closed.

1869

The church was restored.

1872

A bell was cast by John Warner & Sons (about 3 to 4 cwt) and hung in one of the vacant pits of the 6-bell frame.

1940-44

The church was severely damaged by shelling during the War. The south east corner of the central tower fell during the shelling.

1951

2nd May

The entire tower, except for the north side, which stood to its full height, collapsed. The north side was subsequently levelled to the nave level, leaving the newell staircase in position. The bell was removed to St Mary's before being transferred for use to All Saints, Spring Park, Shirley (near Croydon). It is hung there without canons dead on a concrete beam.

OLD PHOTOGRAPH

Photo Mr Austin, 1951 (DLC collection) An astonishing view of Old St James'. The old 6-bell frame (containing one 3 cwt bell) is seen in the process of gradual collapse. A week after Mr Austin of Dover took the photograph, the tower crashed (2nd May, 1951). The rubble was cleared and the surviving walls made safe as today's "tidy ruin".