Untitled Document
  
Canterbury Cathedral
 

Canterbury Cathedral, Oxford Tower


Photo: Dickon Love

  • 12 bells plus extra treble and sharp 2nd hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 34-3-4 in C♯.
  • Grid Ref: TR151579
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Frame: Whitechapel Bell Foundry, 1981
  • Diocese: Canterbury
  • Building Listed Grade: I. Click for Heritage details.
  • Peals rung at the tower

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned
12 34-3-456½" C♯ 1981 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never
11 24-2-1050½" D♯ 1981 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never
10 17-3-1645" E♯ 1981 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never
9 15-0-842½" F♯ 1981 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never
8 10-3-2638" G♯ 1981 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never
7 8-3-2435" A♯ 1981 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never
6 8-0-1233¼" B♯ 1981 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never
5 7-3-1632½" C♯ 1981 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never
4 7-0-1231" D♯ 1981 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never
3 6-2-2029½" E♯ 1981 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never
2 6-2-228¾" F♯ 1981 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never
Treble 6-0-227¼" G♯ 1981 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never
Extra Treble 5-2-526" A♯ 1981 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never
Flat 6th 8-1-1634" B 1981 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never

Inscriptions

The ring of 12 replaced by the current ring

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Weight
(As supplied)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Treble6-0-186-0-1628⅞"G1923Mears & StainbankNeverRecast 1981
26-1-186-1-1530"F1923Mears & StainbankNeverRecast 1981
36-3-166-3-2431½"E1802Thomas Mears INeverRecast 1981
47-1-147-1-032"D1802Thomas Mears INeverMoved to the Arundel Tower in 1981
57-1-87-1-1734"C1855George Mears & Co.NeverMoved to the Arundel Tower in 1981
68-0-2336"B1727Samuel KnightNeverMoved to the Arundel Tower in 1981
78-3-2538"A1727Samuel KnightNeverMoved to the Arundel Tower in 1981
810-2-710-2-2540"G1855George Mears & Co.NeverMoved to the Arundel Tower in 1981
912-2-643½"F1727Samuel KnightNeverRecast 1981
1016-3-546½"E1728Samuel KnightNeverRecast 1981
1121-3-251½"D1727Samuel KnightNeverRecast 1981
Tenor32-0-632-0-657"C1951Mears & StainbankNeverRecast 1981

Prior Henry's bells from the Arundel Tower

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Chapter Bell5½ cwt approx.1316UnknownUnknown
120 cwt approx.1316UnknownUnknown
222 cwt approx.1316UnknownUnknown
324 cwt approx.1316UnknownUnknown

The set of six by John Bayle

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Treble8-0-181499John BayleNever
2nd12-1-01499John BayleNever
3rd15-1-91499John BayleNever
4th18-0-11499John BayleNever
5th25-1-51499John BayleNever
Le Mariebelle33-0-221499John BayleNever4 of these bells were recast by Joseph Hatch in 1625. The resultant ring of six was sold to St Peter's Sandwich in 1726, at which point the tenor was recast by Samuel Knight (1727). The whole ring amounting to 55-1-6.

The 1726/7 Samuel Knight Ring of Eight

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Weight
(After 1981 tuning)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Treble7-1-14C1726Samuel KnightNeverRecast 1854
2nd8-0-238-0-23 (A♯)36"B1726Samuel Knight1981 WhitechapelMoved to the Arundel Tower in 1981
3rd8-2-258-3-25 (G♯)38"A1726Samuel Knight1981 WhitechapelMoved to the Arundel Tower in 1981
4th11-0-24G1726Samuel KnightNeverRecast 1854
5th?F1726Samuel KnightNeverRecast 1727
6th?E1726Samuel KnightNeverRecast 1728
7th21-3-251½"D1726Samuel KnightRecast 1981
Tenor30 cwt approx.C1726Samuel KnightNeverRecast 1778

Bells recast from the Samuel Knight octave

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
5th (of 8)12-2-643½"F1727Samuel KnightRecast 1981
6th (of 8)16-3-546½"E1728Samuel KnightRecast 1981
Tenor (of 8)28-1-0C1778Pack & ChapmanNeverRecast 1951

Augmentation to 10 bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Weight
(As supplied in 1802)
Weight
(After tuning in 1981)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
New treble (of 10)6-3-16E1802Thomas Mears IRecast 1981
New 2nd (of 10)7-1-146-3-246-3-032"D1802Thomas Mears IMoved to the Arundel Tower in 1981

Bells recast from the ring of 10

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Weight
(As supplied 1855)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
3rd (of 8)?7-1-0C1854George Mears & Co.NeverRecast 1855
6th (of 8)?G1854George Mears & Co.NeverRecast 1855
3rd (of 8)7-1-87-1-1733¾"C1855George Mears & Co.1981 WhitechapelMoved to the Arundel Tower in 1981
6th (of 8)10-2-710-2-2539½"G1855George Mears & Co.1981 WhitechapelMoved to the Arundel Tower in 1981

Augmentation to 12 bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Weight
(As supplied in 1923)
Weight
(After tuning in 1981)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
New treble (of 12)6-0-186-0-1628⅞"G1923Mears & StainbankRecast 1981
New 2nd (of 12)6-1-186-0-1530"F1923Mears & StainbankRecast 1981

Bell recast from the ring of 12

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Tenor (of 12)32-0-657"C1951Mears & StainbankNeverRecast 1981

Incarnations of Great Dunstan

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Great Dunstan?1459UnknownNeverRecast 1499
Great Dunstan64¼ cwt1499John BayleNeverRecast 1663
Great Dunstan62-1-51663Michael DarbieNeverRecast 1684
Great Dunstan69-3-51684Christopher HodsonNeverRecast 1762

History

1425 The Oxford Tower was built.
1430 Great Dunstan (that used to hang in the Campanile) was recast.
1433 The bells from the Arundel Tower were transferred to the Oxford Tower. (The bells from the Angel Steeple then went to the Arundel Tower.)
1459 Great Dunstan was finally hallowed and hung in the Oxford Tower.
1499 John Bayle cast "le Mariebelle" and 5 other bells and recast Great Dunstan.
1625 Four of the Oxford Tower bells were recast and probably augmented to six.
1663 Michael Darbie recast Great Dunstan.
1684 Christopher Hodson recast Great Dunstan.
1726 The bells in the Oxford Tower were sold to St Peter's, Sandwich.
1727 Samuel Knight cast a ring of 8 for the Oxford Tower, recasting the 5th.
1728 Samuel Knight recast the 6th.
1758 An attempt was made to mend Great Dunstan with solder.
1762 Lester, Pack & Chapman recast Great Dunstan.
1778 The Tenor was recast by Pack & Chapman.
1802 The ring was augmented to 10 by Thomas Mears I with addition of 2 treble bells.
1854 The 3rd & 6th were recast by Charles & George Mears, but found to be the wrong note, so they were recast again the following year.
1872 The Canterbury Chimes were designed and installed.
1892 Great Dunstan was rehung on a new steel girder headstock by Samuel B. Goslin of Bishopsgate.
1897 The bells were rehung by Thomas Blackbourne to Mr J. K. Jerram's design.
1923 The bells were augmented to 12 by Whitechapel with the addition of 2 treble bells given as a War Memorial for members of the Kent County Association.
1951 The Tenor was recast by Whitechapel and all the bells were rehung on ball bearings.
1981 7 of the bells in the Oxford Tower were scrapped and a new ring of 12 with two semitone bells were cast and hung in the Oxford Tower in a new frame. Great Dunstan together with 5 of the old bells in the clock chime were hung in the Arundel Tower. Three ca

The Belfry


Viewed from above, the 8th is on the left, the extra treble at the bottom - both these bells are on the upper tier. The tenor may be seen in the top right.
Photo: Dickon Love

Again from above, the 3rd, 4th and 5th may be seen in a row. The bell on the upper tier at the extreme right is the flat 6th.
Photo: Dickon Love

From the side, the 8th (left) and extra treble may be seen on the top tier. The 5th and 6th may be seen at the bottom.
Photo: Dickon Love

Photographs from various restorations


The tenor on the floor of the cathedral awaiting hanging in 1981.
Photo: James Hedgecock, 1981

Bells 5,6,7 and 8 of the old ring.
Photo: Richard Offen collection

The tenor being recast at Whitechapel in 1951.
Photo: Richard Offen collection

The "new" 1951 tenor.
Photo: Richard Offen collection

The 1951 tenor coming back down the tower.
Photo: Richard Offen collection

The "new" tenor removed from the tower in 1951.
Photo: Richard Offen collection

Tenor lifted out of its pit from which the inner frameside has been removed to allow Great Dunstan to pass.
Photo: David Cawley, 1981

11th on the ground, 1981.
Photo: David Cawley, 1981

Tenor on the ground.
Photo: David Cawley, 1981

Tenor lifted out of its pit from which the inner frameside has been removed to allow Great Dunstan to pass.
Photo: David Cawley, 1981

The treble in 1981.
Photo: David Cawley, 1981

The 8th on the ground. Note that this bell was recast with the same profile as the Samuel Knight bell next to it (the 2nd).
Photo: David Cawley, 1981

The old 11th and the old treble.
Photo: David Cawley, 1981
Recent Quarter Peals
The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
2007-10-281265 Stedman Caters
Full list of peals here
Full list of quarters here

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 1 April 2016