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Blean
 

Blean, Shops (formerly The Cowshed)


Photo: David Cawley collection

  • Single unhung clock bell, formerly ringable
  • Tenor: 1½ cwt approx. in .
  • Grid Ref: TR122608
  • Diocese: Canterbury
  • Building Listed Grade: . Click for Heritage details.

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned
Single bell 1½ cwt approx.18" 1815 Thomas Mears II Never

History

1921 Mr Price won on a horse, Utoi, in the 1921 Cesarewitch. He resolved to built a cow shed on his property like no other! He obtained the frontage - ornamental stonework, inscription plaques, cupola, vane, clock and bell from Lady Waterfield's estate, Wildernesse, at Nackington, which was then being broken up.As it hung in the Cowshed from 1921-1971 the bell was in a neat wooden frame with X-braced sides and full ringing fittings minus stay and slider.
1970 The cowshed was demolished. The developer undertook to re-erect the stonework, cupola and vane, together with the clock and bell, on the new shops and flats on the site completed in 1971. The developer said that the cupola "fell to pieces" and the clock was "beyond repair". The stonework went up plus a new and not too convincing cupola with a simple vane, not the original. Even the clock dial was replaced.
2010 David Cawley observed that the bell had fallen into the base of the replacement turret. [1]
[1] In the parish, facing the Canterbury-Whitstable road, stood THE COWSHED (except to bus drivers and posh people who called it the clock tower!) It was built by an eccentric farmer, Mr Price, to celebrate the win of his horse, Utoi, in the 1921 Cesarewitch. He obtained the frontage - ornamental stonework, inscription plaques, cupola, vane, clock and bell from Lady Waterfield's estate, Wildernesse, at Nackington, which was then being broken up. I inspected in February 1970 when the Cowshed was to be demolished. The developer undertook to re-erect the stonework, cupola and vane, together with the clock and bell, on the new shops and flats on the site completed in 1971. The developer said that the cupola "fell to pieces" and the clock was "beyond repair". The stonework went up plus a new and not too convincing cupola with a simple vane, not the original. Even the clock dial was replaced. As it hung in the Cowshed from 1921-1971 the bell was in a neat wooden frame with X-braced sides and full ringing fittings minus stay and slider. The bell had canons and was clearly the work of Thomas Mears II. The clock bore the name of Warren of Canterbury, 1815, on the setting dial. It has not struck since bells were silenced in 1940, and I can't ever remember it going. The new clock is non-striking; it is possible that even the bell is a fibreglass replica. I noted in March 2010 that it had fallen down the central rod which held it and is now on the floor of the replacement turret. As far as is known, none of the Cows ever learned the art of ringing. (David Cawley charmingly relates the history)

Gallery


The Cowshed.
Photo: David Cawley

The Cowshed.
Photo: David Cawley

The Cowshed is now shops.
Photo: Nick Smith, 30 Mar 2008

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 2 July 2017