Beckenham, St George

Photo: Dickon Love

  • 10 bells hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 14-0-2 in F.
  • Grid Ref: TQ375697
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Frame: 1903 John Warner & Sons. Adapted in 1935 to put bells 1 and 4 above the rest.
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Rochester
  • Kent County Association of Change Ringers District: Lewisham
  • Building Listed Grade: II* Click for Heritage details.
  • Peals rung at the tower

  • Sound clip of the ring of bells.(c. 1979)

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)

(As dispatched in 1903)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® Treble 4-1-1225⅛" A 1934 Gillett & Johnston, Croydon (5001) Flat Never
® 2 4-1-2226" G 1934 Gillett & Johnston, Croydon (5002) Flat Never
® 3 4¼ cwt approx.4-3-2028" F 1902 John Warner & Sons Removed Never
® 4 5 cwt approx.5-0-1929" E 1902 John Warner & Sons Removed Never
® 5 5¼ cwt approx.5-2-1030¼" D 1902 John Warner & Sons Removed Never
® 6 6½ cwt approx.6-2-2632½" C 1902 John Warner & Sons Removed Never
® 7 6¾ cwt approx.7-3-335" B♭ 1902 John Warner & Sons Removed Never
® 8 7¾ cwt approx.8-0-1736½" A 1902 John Warner & Sons Removed Never
® 9 10½ cwt approx.11-0-1240" G 1902 John Warner & Sons Removed Never
® Tenor 14-0-214-2-1844" F 1903 John Warner & Sons Removed Never
Sanctus 2-0-021" 1894 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never

®  - Hung for full circle ringing


Frame Bells Year Maker Material Truss(es) Local
Lower tier 1 2,3,5,6,7,8,9,10 1902 John Warner & Sons

Upper tier 2 1,4 1934 Gillett & Johnston, Croydon


Prior to 1902 recast

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Treble4½ cwt approx.29"1796Thomas Mears INeverRecast 1902
25 cwt approx.31"1640William LambartNeverRecast 1902.
36 cwt approx.32½"1624Thomas BartlettNeverRecast 1902
49 cwt approx.36½"1629Thomas BartlettNeverRecast 1902
510 cwt approx.40½"1625Thomas BartlettNeverRecast 1902
Tenor15 cwt approx.45"1629Thomas BartlettNeverRecast 1902. KCACR Handbook says 20cwt


1454 Record of new bells for the church, paid for from a bequest by Ralph Langle. [1]
1552 Record of 4 bells in the tower. [2]
E 1624 Bell cast by Thomas Bartlett (treble of 4).
1625 Bell cast by Thomas Bartlett (3rd of 4).
1629 2 bells cast by Thomas Bartlett (2nd and tenor of 4).
1640 Treble added by William Lambert to make 5.
1783 Vestry decided to purchase a 6th bell, although it is not clear whether one was actually purchased at this time.
1790 23rd Dec Shingle spire destroyed in a thunder storm, together with much of the church.
1791 The Vestry agreed not to rebuild the spire, but rather to make good the lead gutters in the belfry and to allow the tower to remain in its incomplete condition
1794 Contrary to the earlier decision, the spire was rebuilt, and the bells were rehung.
1796 Treble bell added to make 6 by Thomas Mears.
c 1870 There was a fatal accident in the belfry. The bells had been raised ready for wedding ringing when a workman visited the belfry to execute some repairs. He accidentally knocked off the 5th (of 6) which hit him on the head and killed him immediately. Traces of this sad event remained in the belfry until the old tower was pulled down.
1887 Church rebuilt and reconsecrated. The bells were rehung in a wooden shed on top of the incomplete tower. They were not rung but struck by hammers worked by chiming apparatus in the ringing chamber beneath.
1894 Sanctus Bell cast by Mears & Stainbank.
1902 Tower completed to its full height. Bells recast into a ring of 8 by John Warner. They were removed from the tower on 11th July.
1903 Tenor bell completed by John Warner and all 8 bells hung in the tower on 6th March and dedicated by the Archbishop of Canterbury on 14th November.
1904 The Beckenham Guild of Ringers was formed on 16th June and the bells first rung on 8th July.
1934 2 treble bells added to make 10 by Gillett & Johnston.
1952 Back 8 quarter turned and rehung on ball bearings by Gillett & Johnston and all 10 were first rung on 7th October.
1986 Tenor rehung on ball bearings and canons removed by Whitechapel after its gudgeon broke.
1992 Bells 3 - 9 rehung on ball bearings and canons removed by Whitechapel.
1999 Sound control completed in the tower.
2013 The bearings of the tenor were replaced and the opportunity was taken of weighing it and the 6th in the tower.
[1] Ralph Langle of Beckenham by his will bequeathed "ordinacioni nove campane ibidem iij s iiij d". ("Reliquary", Mr E H IV Dunkin for 1877-8.)
[2] Item iiij bells of bellmetell suted in the steple whereof on was broken. Item ij litle sacryng bells of brasse. Mem.: "one hand bell and one Sacrament bell of brasse" had been sold. (Edwardian Inventory, 1552)


  • "History of the Bells", Borrowman, R (Beckenham Past & Present) 1 January 1910
  • "Beckenham damage", Corby, Philip A (The Ringing World) 27 May 1988
  • Gallery

    Photographs from 1903 when the bells were on display in the churchyard.
    Photo: Picture displayed in the ringing room.

    1903 photograph.
    Photo: Picture displayed in the ringing room.

    1903 photograph.
    Photo: Picture displayed in the ringing room.

    The church as it looked before the tower was completed.
    Recent Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2023-02-115040 Spliced Major (20m)
    2022-10-315152 Spliced Surprise Major (4m)
    2022-08-065024 Spliced Surprise Major (4m)
    2019-11-175004 Stedman Caters
    2018-02-135080 Bristol Surprise Royal
    2017-11-035021 Stedman Caters
    2016-01-125040 Spliced Treble Dodging Royal
    2015-03-105000 Spliced Surprise Royal
    2013-12-145003 Grandsire Caters
    2013-10-255000 London No. 3 Surprise Royal
    2012-10-195000 London No. 3 Surprise Royal
    2012-02-145120 Spliced Surprise Royal (5m)
    2011-11-025120 Bristol Surprise Royal
    2011-10-315040 Cambridge Surprise Royal
    2011-02-055042 Bristol Surprise Royal
    2010-11-055000 Spliced Surprise Royal
    2010-10-255040 Cambridge Surprise Royal
    2010-09-265040 Stedman Triples
    2009-06-065040 Yorkshire Surprise Royal
    2009-04-055070 Stedman Caters
    2008-12-275152 Spliced Surprise Major (4m)
    2008-10-315039 Spliced Caters and Royal
    2008-10-055152 Bristol Surprise Major
    2008-07-275024 Spliced Surprise Major (4m)
    2007-05-195152 Spliced Surprise Major
    Recent Quarter Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2023-05-201296 Cambridge Surprise Minor
    2023-05-082573 Grandsire Caters
    2023-02-021296 Cambridge Surprise Minor
    2023-01-291344 Bristol Surprise Major
    2022-11-131385 Grandsire Caters
    2022-11-061312 Cambridge Surprise Major
    2022-10-301260 Doubles (2m)
    2022-09-191260 Doubles (2m)
    2022-06-051259 Grandsire Caters
    2022-05-291344 Kenninghall Surprise Major
    2022-05-081296 Cambridge Surprise Minor
    2022-05-051260 Doubles (2m)
    2022-03-271344 Belfast Surprise Major
    2022-01-161280 Rutland Surprise Major
    2021-12-121280 Pudsey Surprise Major
    2021-11-141273 Grandsire Triples
    2020-01-031440 Plain Bob Caters
    2019-11-101273 Grandsire Triples
    2019-08-031282 Cambridge Surprise Royal
    2019-05-311260 Grandsire Triples
    2019-03-031792 Spliced Surprise Major (8m)
    2019-02-231320 Cambridge Surprise Minor
    2019-02-231314 Spliced Surprise Major (6m)
    2019-02-231260 Grandsire Triples
    2019-02-231259 Grandsire Caters
    Full list of peals on Bellboard here
    Full list of quarters on Bellboard here

    Elsewhere in the Parish

    Beckenham Place, Mansion

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