Rosherville, Rosherville Gardens

  • Formerly chime of 13 bells, bass 5-1-24
  • Formerly chime of 13 bells, bass 5-1-24, sold 1872. Bass transferred to Chennai.
  • Grid Ref: TQ631744
  • Pleasure gardens with shortlived chime of 12 (bass 2-3-8) then 13 (5-1-24)

The original chime of 12 provided in 1869

Bell Weight
(most recent)*

(Cast weight)
10-1-210-1-2110¾"D1869John Taylor & Co.NeverScrapped 1870
20-2-20-2-2211¾"C1869John Taylor & Co.NeverScrapped 1870
30-2-140-2-1412¼"B1869John Taylor & Co.NeverScrapped 1870
40-2-160-2-1612¾"A1869John Taylor & Co.NeverScrapped 1870
50-3-50-3-714⅛"G1869John Taylor & Co.NeverInto new chime
60-3-100-3-1414⅜"F♯1869John Taylor & Co.NeverPresumably scrapped 1870
70-3-261-0-415⅝"E1869John Taylor & Co.NeverInto new chime
81-1-131-1-2017⅜"D1869John Taylor & Co.NeverInto new chime
91-2-271-3-419⅝"C1869John Taylor & Co.NeverInto new chime
102-0-32-0-720⅝"B1869John Taylor & Co.NeverInto new chime
112-1-232-1-2321⅞"A1869John Taylor & Co.NeverRecast 1870
122-3-82-3-1023½"G1869John Taylor & Co.NeverInto new chime

* Source of weight figures: John Taylor records

The remodelled chime of 13

Bell Weight
(most recent)*

(Cast weight)

(Copybook Diam)
1Former 50-3-514"14⅛"G1869John Taylor & Co.NeverRemoved 1872, fate unknown
2New0-3-1615"15"F1870John Taylor & Co.NeverRemoved 1872, fate unknown
3♯Former 70-3-2615½"15⅝"E1869John Taylor & Co.NeverRemoved 1872, fate unknown
3New1-1-216⅞"16⅞"E♭1870John Taylor & Co.NeverRemoved 1872, fate unknown
4Former 81-1-1317¼"17⅜"D1869John Taylor & Co.NeverRemoved 1872, fate unknown
5Former 91-2-2719½"19⅝"C1869John Taylor & Co.NeverRemoved 1872, fate unknown
6♯Former 102-0-320⅝"20⅝"B1869John Taylor & Co.NeverRemoved 1872, fate unknown
6New2-0-172-0-2321⅜"21⅜"B♭1870John Taylor & Co.NeverRemoved 1872, fate unknown
7♯Recast 113-0-1523⅜"23⅜"A1870John Taylor & Co.NeverRemoved 1872, fate unknown
7New2-3-202-3-2123⅜"23½"A♭1870John Taylor & Co.NeverRemoved 1872, fate unknown
8Former 122-3-823¾"23½"G1869John Taylor & Co.NeverRemoved 1872, fate unknown
9New3-2-2726¼"26½"F1869John Taylor & Co.NeverRemoved 1872, fate unknown
10New5-1-2429½"29½"E♭1870John Taylor & Co.NeverRem. 1872, transf. Chennai, 1875

* Source of weight figures: John Taylor records


1837 Establishment of the gardens: A set of Victorian pleasure gardens was laid out in 1837 by George Jones (a businessman from Islington in north London) in one of the disused chalk pits in Northfleet. Their full title was the 'Kent Zoological and Botanical Gardens Institution’. The chalk pit was owned by Jeremiah Rosher who, from 1830, started building a new town, Rosherville, on the outskirts of Gravesend, which could be reached by steamship and subsequently the railways. The well known advertising catch phrase for the gardens was "The place to spend a happy day".
1868 Plans of a tower and bells: The foundation stone of a new clock tower was laid on 30 April at a new entrance to the gardens that allowed access from the railway. The stone was laid by Mrs George Jones, the wife of the proprietor. The plan was for the tower to have a clock with four dials and a set of bells. Gillett & Bland, Croydon was the contractor for the clock and bells, who in turn subcontracted the provision of 12 bells to John Taylor & Co, Loughborough. Gillett & Bland planned to install two beams and hang six bells on each. Taylor recommended that three lighter beams be installed and that each bell be given a headstock to straddle the beams. The advantage of this arrangement was that each bell could be fitted up complete at the works and merely lodged into their places in the tower. It doesn't appear as if Gillett followed that advice as these fittings were never invoiced for. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
1869 The Court Case:The plan for the tower and bells met with opposition from one of the neighbours, Mr Simpson, who launched a law suit against the proprietor, George Jones. At the hearing in March, Jones stated that he realised that in erecting the tower with the windows overlooking the neighbours, he had violated the terms of his lease. Simpson was also concerned about any nusiance caused by the proposed bells. The two parties came to an agreement at court that Jones would block up the windows overlooking Simpson's property if he was allowed to proceed with the bells. Furthermore, if Simpson or any of the other neighbours found the bells a nuisance once they were operational, they had the power to have them stopped. Jones was of the view that once Simpson had heard the "pleasant and melodious chimes, he would be so delighted as to wish that they might never stop again", a comment that brought laughter to the courtroom. As far as Simpson was concerned, this was a good deal as it meant that he had the power to ensure that the bells were not played too late at night or to inappropriate tunes. The Judge was pleased that the two parties had sorted this out between them, and noting the catch phrase "The place to spend a happy day", he hoped the parties would spend many happy hours there. Jones' counsel also brought laughter to the courtroom when he described Rosherville Gardens as "the most beautiful chalk pit in Europe." Building of the tower and installation of the bells:The tower was largely completed in October. It was 70 feet tall and visitors were able to climb up it with ease to see the views, the clock mechanism and the bells. The bells themselves were cast at Loughborough in this year. They formed a diatonic chime of 12 in G with the heaviest being 2-3-8 and the total weight being 15-1-0. They were invoiced on 9 Apr for £106.15.0. The clock played the Cambridge quarters on the bells, and each hour a tune was played using the carillon machines (although there was also a manual keyboard). Each day brought a different tune. Disappointment in the bells: All was not well as Gillett & Bland relayed a complaint from the client, George Jones, who was disappointed with the result. John Taylor robustly defended the quality of the bells, pointing out that many believe that bells should sound like the mighty rings in London, but not realise that if you order little bells, you get a different sound. Taylor went on to note that this is why we "Ringing Islanders" have never been persuaded to take up carillons in the way they have overseas. Taylor had advised Gillett to come and hear the bells before they were dispatched to approve their quality, but Gillett declined to do so, which Taylor regretted. As a solution, Plans for remodelling: Taylor recommended that the ring be remodelled with three larger bells, remove the 3 smallest and substitute a C sharp for the C natural bell. This would generate a diatonic chime in D. This would only need Gillett to return two of the bells to the foundry against which to match the tuning of the new bells. Gillett agreed with the remodelling, but not with the new design. Instead they requested just two larger bells to transpose the ring from G to E flat, and by removing the lightest four bells, this would generate a diatonic chime of 10 bells if four new bells were cast to insert the correct notes. Taylor commented that clearly no "practical bell man" came up with this idea! Nonetheless, this is what was done. As well as removing the lightest four bells, the old 6th was removed and the old 11th was recast to the same note but slightly heavier. The result was a set of 13 bells. The old bells were bought back by Taylor for their metal value. The second heaviest bell was cast on 15 Dec 1869 with the rest the following year. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]
1870 Remodelled chime, but continued dissatisfaction: Gillett & Bland's order was completed, with the 6 new bells cast, totalling 16-1-22 in weight, invoiced at £115.2.6 on 19 Mar, which was also the day they were noted as leaving Loughborough. The bass bell originally came out too flat, so a new bell was cast (on 7 Jan). The first attempt was included in the new ring of five bells for Whitfield, Northamptonshire (as the 3rd of five, weight 5-0-3). The work on the tower and bells was completed in time for the season opening (on Easter Monday). The newspapers in April reported that the tower had 13 bells. But the result didn't stop the arguments, as the bells started to be referred to as "pestering chime bells". Enquiries from Rosherville started asking for chimes with the smallest bell to be 3cwt, which would have suggested the casting of a set of ten bells 15 cwt, or twelve bells at 28 cwt, but Taylor acknowledged that there might be no appetite for the price. As for the 13 bells in the tower, Gillett & Bland lay the blame on the quality of the bells. Taylor was having none of it, pointing out that George Jones himself heard tunes played on the bells in the foundry and was very pleased with the result. Taylor lay the blame on the chiming mechanism devised by Gillett which was not striking the bells with enough force to get the best sound out of them (i.e. not matching the force that would be applied by a manual carilloneur). Gillett then went on to complain that the bells were out of tune, despite them also being judged as in tune by Gillett's representative when testing them in the foundry. The invoices were not settled as they should, and while Taylor's acknowledged that Gillett & Bland was having financial difficulties, nonetheless robustly demanded payment as they had given "all the warning they could with proper respect". [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]
1871 Newspaper reports suggested that the keyboard was available for the general public to chime the bells, again reporting that there were 13 bells. [20]
1872 Removal of the bells: George Jones died in this year, and the gardens, including the tower and bells, were put up for sale. Newspapers at the time reported that there were 13 bells, but also occasionally mentioned 19 (presumably in error, but there were eventually 19 bells cast for Rosherville over the period). The gardens passed to the "Rosherville Gardens Company Ltd." It appears that the bells at this stage were taken back by Gillett & Bland. Perhaps they were never paid for. However in correspondance with John Taylor, when Gillett asked Taylor to quote for a set of 8 bells, Taylor suggested that Gillett take 8 of the bells out of the Rosherville collection. In the event, Keble College did not pursue the option for 8 bells and elected to install 3 hemispherical bells from Mears instead. [21] [22] [23] [24] [25]
1874 Again, Gillett & Bland contacted John Taylor for some bells, this time for Madras (modern day Chennai) where they were looking to install an hour bell with two quarter bells ("ting tangs"). Gillett said they would use the Rosherville bass bell as the smaller quarter bell and asked Taylor to cast the other two. Taylor suggested using the 2-3-20 (A flat) Rosherville bell for the other quarter bell, but in the event, Taylor provided the bells requested. These were invoiced on 28 Nov and presumably shipped to India the following year. The fate of the other bells is not known. Gillett & Bland may have used them in various single clock jobs, or possibly sold them for scrap. [26] [27] [28]
1878 There was terrible loss of life when the Princess Alice steamer collided with the collier Bywell Castle just after leaving Rosherville Pier. 640 people died from the collision, 240 being children. This was the greatest loss of life of any British inland waterway shipping accident. The popularity of the Gardens began to decline from this point.
1887 The townsfolk of Gravesend started discussing a suitable monument to mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. They quickly settled on the idea of a freestanding clock tower in the town. When originally proposed, one of the committee stated that he was confident that the Rosherville chimes would be given for the project without cost as they were not in use there. Other newspaper commentators felt these "toy bells" would be more suited to be hung in the old windmill on Windmill Hill overlooking the docks, which at that time were competing to become the future docks for the port of London. Of course, the bells had already gone by then. [29] [30] [31]
1891 The bells were again mentioned in the newspapers as "muscial chimes", the last such reference. [32]
1900 The Rosherville Gardens Company went bankrupt and many of the fixtures and fittings were sold off the following year.
1903 The Gardens reopened in an attempt to revive the business, but they closed again in 1913. The following year the area was used as a film set before the War brought all activity to a halt.
1939 The site was sold to developers. The clock tower was demolished in this year. The local newspaper reported that the bells had been removed "many years ago" to the Gravesend Clock Tower, which was erroneous. [33]
[1] ROSHERVILLE GARDENS.- The first stone of the proposed new clock tower, at the new entrance of these Gardens on the London-road, was laid on Thursday week by the wife of the enterprising Proprietor, Mrs George Jones. The tower will contain a handsome clock (The Era - Sun 10 May 1868)
[2] Letter from John Taylor to Gillett & Bland, probably representing the preliminary enquiry for the bells: "Send proposition for the small peal of 10 or 12 bells, the following to be about the weights (twelve bells, largest 31" weight 5 cwt, total weight 33cwt) for £231. With respect to the cost of hanging we are unable to state exactly. It depends upon the material whether oak or deal. With the former should thing the framework with headstocks & smithwork fitted up all complete ready to send away to be fixed but exclusive of carriage & fixing would be about £50 for the whole peal. Never having made deal frames we are hardly prepared at the moment to give an estimate. It would be considerably less than oak. Cannot guarantee the price for a week after this date." (John Taylor Letter Copy Book 6/1/2/27/164, 7 Apr 1868)
[3] John Taylor's estimate to Gillett & Bland for a small "peal of 12 bells to be in harmony with each other and of the following weight or thereabouts (twelve bells, largest 25" XVII G 3cwt, total 15½ cwt) at £7 per cwt £108.10.0. The fittings will not be a heavy matter as they are not to ring but we thing the plan of hanging six bells on one beam is not so well as fitting up each bell with a separate headstock - each end of the headstock to rest on the beams - then have 3 beams which may be light er than the 2. [Sketch of arrangement]. There is decidedly an advantage in this plan that every bell can be fitted up complete at the works & merely require lodging on to their places in the tower. We should be happy to fit them up in this manner with the headstocks & smithwork ready for fixing (not including beams) for £1 per bell. We would also engage to fix the above in the tower (supposing that there is a clear passage to admit the bells) including carriage & travelling expenses [for] £7.10.0." (John Taylor Letter Copy Book 6/1/2/27/181, 2 May 1868)
[4] John Taylor's replying to letter of 7th inst. from Gillett & Bland "There is no risk whatever of the bells being in tune (sic). You may rely upon that being right. I presume it is the peal with 3 cwt tenor according to our estimate of the 2d of May last" (John Taylor Letter Copy Book 6/1/2/28/43, 14 Aug 1868)
[5] Small peal of twelve bells cast for Messrs Gillett & Bland to go to Rosherville Gardens in Gravesend [table of the 12 cast bells, bass 2-3-10 tuned down to 2-3-8 in G]. Followed by details of two larger bells plus the note "The tenor came too flat another was set as follows. This tenor was sent to Whitfield, Brackley." The diameter was 29½". Details of the larger bells given as 29½" 5-1-24 "as it came out cast the 7th of January 1870" and 24¼" 3-2-27 "was cast on the 15th of Dec 1869". Details of two further bells given: A flat 23½" 2-3-21 Cast February 3rd 1870; B flat 21⅜" 2-0-23 Cast Febry 11th 1870. There follows a summary of the details of the final set of 13 bells, "Left Lboro March 19th 1870". Final note says "The 23⅜ was put in in exchange for the 21⅞" [reference to the substituted A]. (John Taylor Letter Copy Book 6/1/2/29/15, 19 Mar 1870)
[6] SIMPSON v. JONES. The plaintiff in this case is a gentleman residing at Gravesend, and the defendant is the proprietor of the Rosherville Gardens, the action being brought to recover compensation for an alleged annoyance. Mr. Serjeant Robinson attended fo (Kentish Mercury - Sat 13 Mar 1869)
[7] ROSHERVILLE. THE GARDENS.- Marvellous improvements have been made in these delightful grounds during the last winter ... The Observatory Netrance, which will soon be opened on the London road - comprise a great clock tower and a grand conservatory. The cl (Kentish Mercury - Sat 22 May 1869)
[8] ROSHERVILLE GARDENS.- The new tower, clock and conservatory at Rosherville Gardens become additionally interesting as the works are being completed. We have been shown over the works, and are able to supply a few particulars respecting the great improveme (Gravesend Reporter, North Kent and South Essex Advertiser - Sat 30 Oct 1869)
[9] Gillett & Bland. To set of 12 Bells for Rosherville Gardens, wt 15-1-0 at £7, £106.15.0. (John Taylor Day Book 4/7/1/2/362, 9 Apr 1869)
[10] Letter from John Taylor to Gillett and Bland: "Gentlemen. We are truly sorry that you did not take our advice and send someone to hear the bells before they left here - we almost guessed the result, for English people are too accustomed to Church Bells and ringing that they can only imagine bells to produce types of sound they imagine every peal of twelve bells to give forth [?] tones to St Saviour's [Southwark Cathedral], St Michael's [Cornhill], &c. only they suppose by having the lighter they may not be quite so loud - we have been years trying to instill some more correct notion of bells into their heads, but those "Ringing Islanders" eschew everything else in the bells way that you may entrust to them that we almost despair of them ever taking to the "foreign carillons" - [?] to the Rosherville Bells in own opinion are [? - ?] unless Mr Jones will go to over 30 cwt for the [?] - by increasing the size to about 6 cwt we get just to that part of the [?] that is neither the same cry or voice as the smaller ones nor like the larger ones. That is what we noticed at Boston that of those notes were omitted very fair [?] might have been obtained - we would however [?] to encourage the task for bells - do our best in casting some bells for approval but we by no means recommend the Rosherville job to interfere with Mrs Talbot's because it is an easy matter to cast 3 larger bells for Rosherville and take away the 3 upper notes, and insert a C# for C natural, which would transpose the bells into D. The three larger bells to weigh about dia 2'1" 3-1-0 F#, 2'3" 4-1-0 E, 2'6" 5-2-0 D. [Total] 13-0 at £7 per cwt. The only bells we should want here to tune the above to are the present largest and the 5th above it that is the D bell. Would allow £5 per cwt for the Bells we take in exchange, the larger bells to be sent subject to Mr Jones's approval." (John Taylor Letter Copy Book 6/1/2/29/187, 11 Oct 1869)
[11] Letter from John Taylor to Gillett and Bland: "With respect to the Rosherville bells I am sure you are altogether wrong. All you require is a C# and F natural. Also an F# bigger than the present largest C would be found useful. By adding the bells suggested to your letter of the 5th inst you cut the peal up altogether. With the F# you would play God Save the Queen in C. The C# would modulate into the dominant of the present key. To make any addition or alteration we should be obliged to have one or several of the bells here as the case may be." (John Taylor Letter Copy Book 6/1/2/29/200, 8 Nov 1869)
[12] Letter from John Taylor to Gillett and Bland: "We are in due receipt of your favours of the 11th and 12 inst. First in reference to the Rosherville Bells we regret very much that it is determined to put 2 larger bells and transpose the peal in that manner. Also further that the four upper notes are to be dispensed with ... Evidently it is not a practical bell man who proposes this because the 2 larger bells about to be added are getting into the scale of ordinary church bells - and tune as you will many people will fancy them to be higher in note than some of the bells above them. We however submit to you the following which will be about the weights. The five largest bells will have to be sent here to tune to we sufficientlynear to cast to when that is done. ... We would do the very best that can be done with them. New bells E flat weight about 1-1-0, B flat 2-1-0, A flat 2-3-0, F natural 4-0-0, e flat 5-1-0 [Total] 15-2-0 at £7 per cwt. Allow £5 per cwt for the bells returned. Exclusive of carriage." (John Taylor Letter Copy Book 6/1/2/29/208, 13 Nov 1869)
[13] To Gillett & Bland. Rosherville bells. To 6 new bells, 0-3-16 F, 1-1-2 Eb, 2-0-17 Bb, 2-3-20 Ab, 3-2-27 F, 5-1-24 Eb, total 16-1-22 at £7 per cwt. £115.2.6. (John Taylor Day Book 4/7/1/2/362, 19 Mar 1870)
[14] Letter from John Taylor to Gillett and Bland. Taylor is "quite aground as to what to suggest respecting these pestering chime bells". Now they are making enquiries with the smallest bell to be about 3 cwt good music may be got from such peals, but what will they say to the expense. Suggests the weights for peals "but for such purpose I would not make the bells so thick and strong as Mr. Denison’s scale". Suggests peal of ten (tenor 46" XXI E flat 15 cwt), or twelve (tenor 57" XXIV C 28 cwt). Cannot take the present bells at more than old metal price, there "being so many I could not expect to sell them all again in any reasonable time" but asks if Gillett & Bland "could work them in somewhere more advantageously". The price for new bells must be £613s. per cwt as metal prices are expected to advance immediately. (John Taylor Letter Copy Book 6/1/2/30/114, 4 May 1870)
[15] Letter from John Taylor to Gillett and Bland acknowledges receipt of their letter of 18th with the letter from Mr Jones respecting the Rosherville bells and chiming machinery. Taylor sincerely regrets the unsatisfactory state of things, but has done everything in his power to secure satisfaction. The bells were pronounced in tune before leaving Loughborough and tunes were played upon them to the satisfaction and gratification of Mr. Jones and others. We all agreed including your own tuner that they were correct. If the effect of the music produced by the machinery does not come up to what is expected I don’t see how the bells can be blamed after the test they have been put to. In addition to the bells being small I am sorely afraid the machine does not get out all the tone that can be brought out of them. They require a sharp tap about equal force to a smart blow delivered by a man with a 2lbs hammer. They will bear a much heavier blow in proportion than larger bells - in fact require it. Not having heard them up I can only speak from supposition upon these points. I don’t know anything else likely to cause such discordant effects as there was nothing of the kind when they were played by hand. I really do believe that if people will have such small bells the only plan is to arrange them in the tower so as one or two men may perform upon them with hammers. Even on church bells I never think the blow from a chime or clock hammer gives out such a full note as when struck with a good sized clapper by the hand. I have well pondered the matter over but can think of nothing as an improvement as regards the bells themselves than having the large bells as really that is what is wanted. With respect to the machinery and style of tunes that you know better about than I can tell you. It is very disappointing. Having has experience in these cases I have been most careful and indefatigable in my exertions to give satisfaction. (John Taylor Letter Copy Book 6/1/2/30/120, 24 May 1870)
[16] Letter from John Taylor to Gillett and Bland: "I am exceedingly sorry at your disappointment relative to the appreciation to the small bells. Having attempted the thing myself years ago I am not so very surprised. As for condemning them as being out of tune I quite declined any responsibility on that score. I did not allow the bells to be sent from the foundry until you had submitted them to the approval of a person of your own appointing. I would not make such small bells for any one but upon those conditions. I know well again & again what the public say of them. You have just the same difficulty with those not so far from Godmanchester when we were there the people were most …ement about them. I was willing to do anything I possibly could whilst the bells were here to alter or cast over again to meet the approval of those you might appoint, but with such little bells I cannot pretend to follow them to the place. I could not do more than I have done or was anxious to do to give satisfaction. In reference to your remark of the weight of the 6 additional bells we find that in our proposal of the 13th of Novr. 1869 only five additional bells were proposed. The upper F natural was omitted by some means or other but six are ordered thus the extra weight of metal is accounted for. We are making a peal of Church bells for Bournemouth [St.Peter’s]. Also have done some work lately for Miss Talbot at Temple Guiting. I regret very much about these small bells but could not divert you from getting into the difficulty tho’ I gave you all the warning I could with proper respect. Whenever we have executed foreign orders we have always been paid upon delivery to the wharf after which we have had nothing to do with them. I am very sorry to be pressing but I can assure you gentlemen I am urgently in need of cash or would not be so importunate. However without any disrespect it must be thought quite time that out a/c was settled." (John Taylor Letter Copy Book 6/1/2/31/42, 30 Aug 1870)
[17] At Rosherville Gardens, as everybody knows, Easter Monday is "our opening day," and Mr. Jones and his "merry, merry men" have been most energetic in preparing for the event. The gardens last season were, to say the least, most delightful and satisfying in (Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser - Mon 25 Apr 1870)
[18] ROSHERVILLE GARDENTS ESTATE, GRAVESEND. "THE PLACE TO SPEND A HAPPY DAY." Kent the Garden of England, Rosherville the Garden of Kent, WITH AN OUTLAY OF SOME £200,000. It is admitted that there is no Holiday equal to a Day at Rosherville. 30 acres, Governm (Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser - Mon 25 Apr 1870)
[19] The clock which is now fixed in the tower has four faces, and will be illuminated at night; its bells - there are thirteen - will chime the quarters, - and every hour a tune will be played, the tune changing from day to day. (Kentish Independent - Sat 30 Apr 1870)
[20] ROSHERVILLE GARDEN ... Mr. George Jones, the proprietor, appears to be well acquainted with the requirements of those whom he invites to "spend a happy day" at Rosherville, for he has provided for them outdoor amusements of every conceivable description. (London Evening Standard - Wed 12 Apr 1871)
[21] Letter from John Taylor to Gillett and Bland: We hope you will not neglect the bill Messrs Foster are holding over. As soon as you can see to it we must beg of you to do so. It is not fair of you to lay the blame of the Rosherville business on to the bells. Mr. Jones express himself perfectly satisfied and pleased with them when we played tunes upon them in our yard. If the chimes fail to produce the same effect upon the same bells the fault cannot rest with the bells. We may also add that we are prepared to play tunes upon our bells at Rosherville. Let them be so placed in the tower that we can strike them. This would at once shew whether the bells are right or wrong. Our own impression is that machinery does not answer for those small bells. There is an indecision & want of expression in the bow from chime hammers that can hardly be described as accounted for. We have played upon them by hand to the great delight of listeners. We have not heard of machinery accomplishing so much. We are however anxiously awaiting the completion of one of your improved machines which we hope will perform all that can be desired. (John Taylor Letter Copy Book 6/1/2/34/68, 23 Aug 1872)
[22] Letter from John Taylor to Gillett and Bland: Keble College bells [Oxford]. We would supply the above bells to the weight given or thereabouts at £8.1s. per cwt nett cash here, but why not take the eight bells out of the Rosherville peal commencing for the biggest about 3 cwt. Nothing could be better - for that scale - if you have them still on your hands. Note of dimensions, The following are the weights given by Messrs. Bland in their letter of the 7th of Sept. 1872. The diameters are such that I suppose would produce the weight (eight bells, smallest 12⅝" 0-2-10, largest 23" 2-0-10 in XVII G, total 9-0-14) (John Taylor Letter Copy Book 6/1/2/34/82, 9 Sept 1872)
[23] [Particulars of sale] The appointment and attractions of its interior afford the visitor enjoyment for hours together, whilst the magnificent octagon clock tower, rising to a height of about 70 feet, and fitted with a valuable chime clock by Gillett and B (Morning Advertiser - Mon 12 Aug 1872)
[24] [Particulars of sale] The new approach from the main London road is through the splendid arched conservatory, of chaste and elegant design, 150 feet long and 30 feet high. The appointment and attractions of its interior afford the visitor enjoyment of hou (Morning Advertiser - Fri 30 Aug 1872)
[25] ALTERATION OF THE DAY OF SALE TO Tuesday,8th October. The far-famed Rosherville Gardens and Rosherville Pier, near Gravesend, in the county of Kent. - Notice of Sale, in consequence of the death of the late priorietor, George Jones, Esq., with consent of (Morning Advertiser - Tues 17 Sept 1872)
[26] Letter from John Taylor to Gillett and Bland: Estimate for two bells [for Madras], 3 cwt and 11¾ cwt, present price £7 per cwt nett cash here. "This is supposing you use the Rosherville tenor as the middle bell for ring-tang quarters and the 10 cwt for the hour, but is there not a Rosherville bell weighing 2-3-20 which would do for the treble (no.70 crook). The bell ought to be sent here. (John Taylor Letter Copy Book 6/1/2/36/173, 2 Jun 1874)
[27] Job details for an hour bell for Gillett & Bland [for Madras], cast 5 November 1874, 40" XVI G# … [no weight - daybook says 11-3-21], the treble to the above with the 5 … [i.e. the 29½" XVII Eb 5-1-24 bell] belonging to the Rosherville bells formed two quarters, 23½" XV A 2-3-7. The index entry for this page says "Gillett & Bland’s Madras bells" (John Taylor Letter Copy Book 6/1/2/37/4, 5 Nov 1874)
[28] To Gillett & Bland. To two bells to your order for Madras awaiting shipping particulars, weight 2-3-7 and 11-3-21, total 14-3-0 at £7.9.4. per cwt, £110.2.8. (John Taylor Day Book 4/7/1/4/45, 28 Nov 1874)
[29] The Jubilee proposals have at last reached a focus ... To Mr. A. Tolhurst belongs the honour of inaugurating the memorial scheme, consisting of a clock tower with chiming bells, and it is gratifying that the Committee, at their first meeting on Thursday, (Gravesend Reporter, North Kent and South Essex Advertiser - Sat 26 Mar 1887)
[30] There is much diversion to be had also in the way of strolls along the well-kept avenues that fringe the cliffs, in visits to the Clock Tower, where can be seen the machinery that sets the "sweet chiming bells" in motion, or to the maze, the conservatory (Gravesend Reporter, North Kent and South Essex Advertiser - Sat 16 Apr 1887)
[31] THE JUBILEE MEMORIAL To the Editor of the Gravesend and Dartford Reporter. Sir,- The committee appointed at our Gravesend meeting are rather springing a mine upon us by advocating an entirely new project, and are scarcely likely to settle all controversy (Gravesend Reporter, North Kent and South Essex Advertiser - Sat 9 Apr 1887)
[32] ROSHERVILLE GARDENS,- Notwithstanding the bitterly cold weather and searching north-westerly wind on Easter Monday, over 8,200 persons availed themselves of the holiday to visit the ever-popular and beautiful Rosherville Gardens. ... The conservatory, wit (Gravesend Reporter, North Kent and South Essex Advertiser - Sat 4 Apr 1891)
[33] Destruction of Rosherville. This month will see the end of the Rosherville Gardens and Gravesend - the site has been bought by a well known cable manufacturers for an extension of their works. Thus disappears the remnant of the last of London's pleasure (Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Tues 09 May 1939)


The tower on the entrance to the Gardens.
Photo: Thames Pilot

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 9 November 2020