Maidstone, All Saints

Photo: Michael Birkbeck, Jun 2001

  • 10 bells hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 32-0-20 in C♯
  • Grid Ref: TQ759554
  • Kent's largest Parish Church and First Ring of Eight? There are records of 6 bells here in 1887 & 8 bells in 1719. The tenor was recast and the bells were rehung in 1678, so this is a plausible date for their augmentation to 8.
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Frame: 1957 John Taylor & Co.
  • Denomination: Church of England
  • Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
  • Archdeaconry (Anglican): Maidstone
  • Kent County Association of Change Ringers District: Maidstone
  • Building Listed Grade: I Click for Heritage details.
  • Peals rung at the tower (Felstead Database)

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

    Details of the Bells

    Bell Weight
    (most recent)
    Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
    ® Treble 5-0-26 29" E♯ 1957 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat Never
    ® 2 5-3-4 30" D♯ 1957 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat Never
    ® 3 6-0-24 31" C♯ 1957 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat Never
    ® 4 6-2-18 32½" B♯ 1957 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat Never
    ® 5 7-3-17 35½" A♯ 1957 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat Never
    ® 6 9-1-22 38" G♯ 1957 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat Never
    ® 7 12-2-27 42" F♯ 1957 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat Never
    ® 8 15-3-4 45" E♯ 1957 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat Never
    ® 9 23-0-12 50½" D♯ 1957 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat Never
    ® Tenor 32-0-20 56" C♯ 1957 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat Never

    ® - Hung for full circle ringing

    Bellframes

    Frame Bells Year Maker Material Truss(es) Local
    Layout
    1 All bells 1957 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Cast iron , 10.4
    Inscriptions on the Bells

    The 1783/4 ring of ten

    Bell Weight
    (most recent)
    Diameter Date Founder Retuned Fate
    Treble 6-1-20 30" 1784 Chapman & Mears Never Recast 1957
    2nd 6-3-15 31¾" 1783 Chapman & Mears Never Recast 1957
    3rd 7-0-12 32¾" 1784 Chapman & Mears Never Recast 1957
    4th 1784 Chapman & Mears Never Recast 1829
    5th 1784 Chapman & Mears Never Recast 1957
    6th 10-2-24 40⅜" 1784 Chapman & Mears Never Recast 1957
    7th 1784 Chapman & Mears Never Recast 1786
    8th 16-1-18 46⅝" 1784 Chapman & Mears Never Recast 1957
    9th 20-2-8 51" 1784 Chapman & Mears Never Recast 1957
    Tenor 28-2-13 1784 Chapman & Mears Never Recast 1840
    Bells subsequently recast

    Bell Weight
    (most recent)

    (Supplied weight)
    Diameter Date Founder Retuned Fate
    4th 7-1-18 34⅛" 1829 Thomas Mears II Never Recast 1957
    7th 13-0-20 43¼" 1786 William Mears Never Recast 1957
    Tenor 29-2-13 31-3-2 56⅝" 1840 Thomas Mears II Never Recast 1957
    5th 8-1-15 36½" 1889 Mears & Stainbank Never Recast 1957
    Bells prior to 1783

    Bell Date Founder Retuned Fate
    Tenor 1678 John & Christopher Hodson Never Recast 1784
    History

    1395 Tower built.
    c1450 Tower thought to possess 4 bells.
    1509 The Will of John Leche, 25 August 1509 (proved 10th October 1509 by Alice relict, Thomas Polyll, Wm. Ade and John Plomer) suggests a bell was cast in 1508 or 1509. The "Thomas Hatwiche" could be Thomas Hatch, a hitherto unknown earlier bellfounder, or a church official. [1]
    1604 The 2nd and tenor (probably of 4) were recast.
    1667 Record of 6 bells in the tower.
    1678 Tenor recast by John and/or Christopher Hodson and bells rehung.
    1719 7th stated to have been repaired - therefore the tower possessed 8 bells.
    1721 Some of the bells recast by Richard Phelps.
    1730 Spire struck by lighning and burnt down.
    1762 Tenor repaired at the cost of 10 guineas.
    1783 -4 Bells (totalling 6 tons) recast into a ring of 10 by Chapman & Mears and hung in an anticlockwise frame.
    1784 The new ring of bells was opened by the Leeds ringers on 3 September. On the 3rd December the local band rang a peal on the new bells (the 4th on the bells). [2]
    1786 7th recast by William Mears.
    1798 Record of 8 bells in the tower. [3]
    1829 4th recast by Thomas Mears.
    1840 Tenor recast by Thomas Mears.
    1889 The 5th was recast by Mears & Stainbank. [4]
    1898 Bells rehung by John Warner.
    1899 Clock purchased from Gillett & Johnston.
    1921 Bells rehung by Mears & Stainbank.
    1945 Old barrel chime on the clock went out of action.
    1957 Bells recast by John Taylor.
    1958 The new bells were hung in a new clockwise frame by John Taylor.
    2000 All clappers, bearings and 3 headstocks were refurbished by John Taylor.

    [1] John Leche of Maydeston [Maidstone], draper, 25th August 1509. To be buried in churchyarde of the parishe church of Alhalowen in Maydeston - I bequeth to Thomas Hatwiche 5 marc of my stuff. Toward the costs of the new bell late bought for the said church 6s. 8d.' ('Will of John Leche, 25 August 1509)
    [2] Kentish Gazette (28 August 1784): RINGiNG at MAIDSTONE. On Friday next the 3d of September, 1784, be opened an entire new Peal of Ten Bells at Maidstone, cast by Chapman and Mears, of London, which will be rung Five Thousand Oxford T Bob, by the Leeds Youths. To begin at [ ] o’Clock in the Morning. N. B. There will be an Ordinary at the Q[ueen’s?] Head, at One o’Clock. Kentish Gazette (8 Dec 1784): ON Friday, December 3, 1784, the Maidstone Society of Ringers, at Maidstone, in the county of Kent, rang a true and compleat Peal of Five Thousand Four Hundred Bob-Minor, being the first Peal ever rang on the new Bells, by any Company of Men, of one Parish.- The Time three Hours and Fifty Minutes. - By the following Persons: Treble, Mr. James Brislee, 1.- Mr Robert Tassell, 2.— Mr. Thomas Cutbush, 3.—Mr. Joseph Moore, 4.— Mr. Edw. Jury, 5.— Mr. Thomas King, 6.— Mr. Daniel Whetstone, 7. Mr. John Harper, 8.- Mr. George Hyland, 9.— Mr. Daniel Kingsnorth, 10.— Mr. Thomas King called the Peal. This new Peal Bells were cast by Chapman and Mears, Bell-founders, in Whitechapel, and hung by Mr. Sweetlove, Leeds; and for Melody, being C sharp, are allowed to be one of the noblest and compleat Peal Bells In the Kingdom. Tenor, 30 Cwt.' ('Kentish Gazette reports)
    [3] In the tower were eight bells, a clock, and chimes; the bells, in 1784, were new cast into ten, by Chapman and Mears of London.' (''The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. Vol 4', Edward Hasted)
    [4] SIR.- Last year the fifth bell in the peal of All Saints' Church became cracked and useless, and ever since, the ringing of the peal has been quite marred by the inability of No. 5 to take part in the proceedings. The Vicar has obtained an estimate for re-casting the bell, which amounts to the sum of £30, and I have no doubt but that many will gladly give towards that sum, which will again enable the No. 5 to unite with the rest in ringing on the occasions on which campanological expression is given by the parish peal. The bells of All Saints' Church are, indeed, not the bells of the parish only but of the whole town; there it is to the town and neighbourhood we should appeal when any member of the peal requires a little restoration. I shall be pleased to receive and acknowledge any subsriptions for the object in view, and hope ere long to be able to announce that the whole sum has been subscribed, and that the peal has been restored to harmonic completeness. FRE. M. CUTBUSH, The College, Maidstone, Feb., 1889.' ('Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser - Tues 26 Feb 1889)
    Pictures of the Belfry


    The tenor bell.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 24 Jul 2004

    The seventh in the foreground.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 24 Jul 2004


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017


    Photo: Alexander Runting, 1 Jun 2017
    Peal boards

    Framed card Performance Board dated approx. 1958

  • May 1958: 5058 Stedman Caters (1st peal on the bells.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 2012

  • Jun 2012 : 5080 Man of Kent Surprise Royal (John B Keeler's 2000th peal.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1933

  • Apr 1910: 5069 Stedman Caters
  • May 1933: 5019 Stedman Caters

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1744

  • Oct 1743: 5040 Union Triples (This being the first of its kind ever performed in this county.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 2003

  • May 2003 : 5090 Yorkshire Surprise Royal (In memoriam Thomas Cullingworth.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1992

  • Feb 1992: 5040 Yorkshire Surprise Royal (Thomas Cullingworth's 2000th peal.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1969

  • Oct 1968: 5050 Stedman Caters (Louis Head's Golden Wedding.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1977

  • Sept 1977: 5077 Stedman Caters (In memoriam Louis Head.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1947

  • Apr 1947: 5021 Stedman Caters (For the coming of age of HRH Princess Elizabeth.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Framed card Performance Board dated approx. 1977

  • Oct 1976: 5040 Yorkshire Surprise Royal (Timothy Wylie's 1000th peal.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1890

  • Jan 1883: 5040 Grandsire Triples
  • Dec 1890: 5021 Grandsire Caters (1st peal of caters on the bells for over 100 years.)
  • Feb 1922: 5079 Stedman Caters (1st on the bells following rehanging, for Princess Mary's wedding.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1997

  • May 1997: 5040 Yorkshire Surprise Royal (In memoriam Lily Cullingworth.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Framed card Performance Board dated approx. 1935

  • Nov 1934: 5077 Stedman Caters (For the wedding of HRH The Duke of Kent and Princess Marina of Greece.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1881

  • Feb 1881: 5040 Grandsire Triples

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Ceramic Performance Board dated approx. 1900

  • Feb 1900: 5000 Kent Treble Bob Royal (1st peal on the bells since rehanging.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1984

  • Sept 1984: 5039 Grandsire Caters (Silver wedding of Martin Pring.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Stone Memorial Board dated approx. 1923


    Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Framed card Performance Board dated approx. 1976

  • Mar 1976: 5040 Yorkshire Surprise Royal (Tom Cullingworth's 1000th peal.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Framed card Performance Board dated approx. 1976

  • Jan 1976: 5077 Stedman Caters (In memoriam William Thomas Grice.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Stone Memorial Board dated approx. 1922


    Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Stone Memorial Board dated approx. 1889


    Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Framed card Performance Board dated approx. 1886

  • Nov 1885: 5040 Grandsire Triples

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Framed card Performance Board dated approx. 2010

  • Nov 1996: 5000 London No 3 Surprise Royal (Catherine Merlane's 1000th peal.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Framed card Performance Board dated approx. 2010

  • Feb 1986: 5000 London No 3 Surprise Royal (David Dearnley's 1000th peal.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Framed card Performance Board dated approx. 2010

  • Jan 2003 : 5000 London No 3 Surprise Royal (Dickon Love's 1000th peal.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Framed card Performance Board dated approx. 2010

  • May 1987: 5040 Yorkshire Surprise Royal (John Howard's 1000th peal.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Framed card Performance Board dated approx. 2010

  • Aug 2008 : 5000 Bristol Surprise Royal (Fr David Gibbons' 1000th peal.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Framed card Performance Board dated approx. 2010

  • Mar 1992: 5039 Grandsire Caters (John Keeler's 1000th peal.)

  • Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Framed card Memorial Board dated approx. 1990


    Photo: Michael A Birkbeck, 29 May 2017

    Bells elsewhere in the parish


    Page updated: 1 April 2016