Margate, St John the Baptist

Photo: Dickon Love

  • 8 bells hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 21-2-3 in D♯.
  • Grid Ref: TR355704
  • Rung from: Ground Floor
  • Frame: 1900 John Taylor & Co.
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Canterbury
  • Kent County Association of Change Ringers District: Canterbury
  • Building Listed Grade: I Click for Heritage details.
  • Peals rung at the tower

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)

(As received 1900)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® Treble 6-0-46-2-331" D♯ 1823 Thomas Mears II Removed 1900 John Taylor
® 2 6-1-236-3-2532⅜" C* 1823 Thomas Mears II Removed 1900 John Taylor
® 3 8-1-2634¼" B♯ 1900 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat Never
® 4 10-3-711-1-1135¾" A♯ 1785 William Mears Removed Never
® 5 12-2-1013-0-2341⅛" G♯ 1785 William Mears Removed Never
® 6 11-3-1412-1-2341⅜" F* 1785 William Mears Removed Never
® 7 14-2-2615-1-044⅛" E♯ 1785 William Mears Removed Never
® Tenor 21-2-322-1-2251½" D♯ 1785 William Mears Removed Never

®  - Hung for full circle ringing


Frame Bells Year Maker Material Truss(es) Local
Lower tier 1 3,4,6,7,8 1900 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Cast iron
Upper tier 2 1,2,5 1900 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Cast iron


How the bells are tuned

Prior to 1900

Bell Weight
(most recent)*
3rd (of 8)8-2-1134¼"C1785William MearsNeverRecast in 1900

* Source of weight figures: John Taylor furnace book

Ring of five prior to 1785

Bell DateFounderRetunedFate
TrebleLate 16th CentThomas HatchNeverRecast in 1785
21615Joseph HatchNeverRecast in 1785
3BlackletterUnknownNeverRecast in 1785
4BlackletterUnknownNeverRecast in 1785
Tenor1445-1449John SturdyNeverRecast in 1785


c 1400 2 bells cast, later forming 3 and 4 of 5.
c 1440 Bell cast by John Sturdy, later forming the tenor.
c 1585 Bell cast by Thomas Hatch (at some time forming the treble of 5).
1615 2nd (of 5) recast by Joseph Hatch.
1723 Lewis, in his "History of Thanet" quotes the five bells as being "tunable".
1785 Bells recast into a ring of 6 by William Mears. They were opened on Monday 12 December by the Society of Canterbury Ringers. [1]
1823 2 trebles added by Thomas Mears to make 8.
1900 3rd recast and bells rehung in a new composite 2-tier frame by John Taylor. Note that they did NOT retune the back 5 bells but did tune the 2 trebles.
1935 Bells overhauled by John Taylor.
2011 The tenor was given a wooden shafted clapper, by John Taylor.
[1] On MONDAY next will be opened, at MARGATE, in KENT, A NEW PEAL OF SIX BELLS cast by Mr. MEARS, of LONDON (the late LESTER, PACK and CHAPMAN) by the SOCIETY OF CANTERBURY RINGERSL when every Friend fond of that Art, the Favour of their Company will be particularly esteemed. (Kentish Gazette - Friday 09 December 1785)


Photo: Christopher J Cooper, 2000

The 7th bell.
Photo: Christopher J Cooper, 2000

Photo: Christopher J Cooper, 2000

An old photograph of the bells and ringers in 1900
Photo: Simon Friend's collection, Margate
Recent Peals
The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
2012-08-175056 Plain Bob Major
2010-11-135040 Grandsire Triples
2002-07-205056 Yorkshire Surprise Major
1983-03-265088 Rutland Surprise Major
1976-05-015040 Plain Bob Triples
1967-11-185056 Cambridge Surprise Major
1901-04-085056 Superlative Surprise Major
1885-12-125040 Grandsire Triples
Recent Quarter Peals
The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
2019-10-091260 Doubles
2019-03-161280 Havant Surprise Major
2018-08-221260 Doubles
2018-08-181260 Plain Bob Triples
2018-08-041288 Plain Bob Triples
2016-11-191260 Julie McDonnell Bob Doubles
2015-10-211260 Grandsire Triples
2015-05-301260 Plain Bob Triples
2014-09-251260 Double (3m/4v)
2013-10-271260 Grandsire Doubles
2013-07-311260 Grandsire Triples
2012-12-121260 Doubles (1v/2m)
2012-12-091260 Grandsire Triples
2011-12-101260 Plain Bob Doubles
2011-10-011260 Doubles (11m/v)
2011-08-121280 Bristol Surprise Major
2011-07-171260 Grandsire Triples
2011-02-091260 Grandsire Doubles
2011-02-051260 Doubles (2m)
2010-10-061260 Stedman Triples
2010-07-111260 Grandsire Triples
2010-03-061344 Plain Bob Major
2009-12-121260 Grandsire Triples
2009-11-041260 Doubles (3m/4v)
2009-10-241288 April Day Triples
Full list of peals on Bellboard here
Full list of quarters on Bellboard here

Elsewhere in the Parish

Margate, Jubilee Tower
Hour bell and 4 quarter chimes
Margate, Pier
Formerly single bell, 3-0-0, washed away
Margate, The Centre
Formerly 2 sets of hour bell and 4 quarter bells (3-2-6 and 3-1-20), now in storage

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 1 August 2020