Sheldwich, St James

Photo: Richard Offen, 2011

  • 8 bells hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 7-0-26 in B♭.
  • Grid Ref: TR011568
  • Complete ring cast at the same time
  • Rung from: Open Gallery
  • Frame: 1998 Whitechapel Bell Foundry
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Maidstone
  • Kent County Association of Change Ringers District: Canterbury
  • Building Listed Grade: II* Click for Heritage details.
  • Peals rung at the tower

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® Treble 2-2-622" A 1998 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 2 2-2-2422½" G♯ 1998 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 3 2-3-2323⅝" F♯ 1998 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 4 3-0-2324¾" E 1998 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 5 3-2-1726⅝" D 1998 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 6 4-1-1928" C♯ 1998 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 7 5-2-1931" B 1998 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® Tenor 7-0-2634" A 1998 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never

®  - Hung for full circle ringing


Frame Bells Year Maker Material Truss(es) Local
1 All bells 1998 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Cast iron


Ring of four prior to 1801

Bell DateFounderRetunedFate
Treble (of 4)MediaevalUnknownNeverRecast 1801
2 (of 4)MediaevalUnknownNeverRecast 1801
3 (of 4)1606Joseph HatchNeverRecast 1801
Tenor (of 4)1624John WilnarNeverRecast 1801

The new ring 1801 ring of six

Bell Weight
(most recent)*
Treble5-1-529¼"1801Thomas Mears IINeverRecast 1865
2nd5-3-1830½"1801Thomas Mears IINeverRecast 1867
3rd6-3-1832¾"1801Thomas Mears IINeverMaiden bell. Recast 1998.
4th7-2-834"1801Thomas Mears IINeverMaiden bell. Recast 1998.
5th8-3-1137½"1801Thomas Mears IINeverRecast 1998
Tenor12-3-1542"1801Thomas Mears IINeverMaiden bell. Recast 1998.

* Source of weight figures: Cast weights given from WBF records

Bells recast from the 1801 ring

Bell DiameterDateFounderRetunedFate
Treble (of 6)28.5"1865John Warner & SonsNeverTuned and trans to Alderton Wilts (1 of 6).
2nd (of 6)29⅞"1867John Warner & SonsNeverTuned, trans Gringley on the Hill 4-3-16 (2/6)


1606 The 3rd (of 4) was recast by Joseph Hatch.
1624 The tenor (of 4) was recast by John Wilnar.
1635 The 4 bells were rehung in a new frame.
1801 The ring of 4 bells was replaced with a ring of 6, by Thomas Mears, These were hung in a new frame.
1865 Treble (of 6) recast by John Warner.
1867 2nd (of 6) recast by John Warner.
1906 A failure in the tower (possibly during a wedding) rendered the bells unringable. (Local tradition says that the bells were rung while the Ellacombe chimes were still on.)
1984 Whitechapel reported that the 3rd, 4th and tenor were broken, and of the remaining 3, only one was "of fair tonal quality".
1997 The parish was advised that a grant from the Millenium Commission had been approved on 6 Dec. and the bells were removed from the tower on 29-30th Dec.
1998 The old bell frame removed from the tower on 24th Jan and sent to Adisham church on 16th Feb for £2,500. A new ring of 8 was cast at Whitechapel. The former treble and second were tuned and sent to Alderton, Wilts (treble of 6) and Gringley on the Hill, Notts (as 2nd of 6). The other bells were scrapped.The new bells were hung in a new frame from 27th April and dedicated by R't Rev'd David Say, former Bishop of Rochester and Assistant Bishop in the Canterbury Diocese on 11th July.
[1] On the bells: 1. No inscription 2. No inscription 3. "Joseph Hatch made me, 1606." 4. "IOHN WILNER MADE ME, 1624." The bell-frame is dated in 1635. (A Tour the the Isle of Thanet and Some other Parts of East Kent, Cozens, Zechariah, 1793)


  • "Return to Ringing", Evans, Paul (The Ringing World) 13 August 1999
  • Recent Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2022-08-205056 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    2019-12-305040 Grandsire Triples
    2019-04-255152 Cooktown Orchid Delight Major
    2017-10-245040 Minor (3m)
    2017-07-015024 Oxford Treble Bob Major
    2017-04-085024 Bristol Surprise Major
    2014-06-215120 Spliced Surprise Major
    2014-05-245056 Bristol Surprise Major
    2014-02-245090 Cambridge Surprise Major
    2014-01-115152 Worthington Surprise Major
    2013-12-305120 Bristol Surprise Major
    2013-10-165088 Lessness Surprise Major
    2011-12-315024 Rutland Surprise Major
    2011-12-135152 Glasgow Surprise Major
    2011-07-135088 Uxbridge Surprise Major
    2010-07-105024 Darlington Surprise Major
    2010-05-045088 Spliced Surprise Major
    2010-04-035056 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    2010-03-175088 Versailles Surprise Major
    2010-02-245088 Ullesthorpe Surprise Major
    2009-12-135040 Grandsire Triples
    2009-11-285056 Cambridge Surprise Major
    2009-10-135088 Bristol Surprise Major
    2009-08-195152 Cambridge Surprise Major
    2009-07-155152 Pudsey Surprise Major
    Recent Quarter Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2023-05-191260 Plain Bob Minor
    2023-01-271260 Doubles (3m)
    2022-12-071260 Stedman Doubles
    2022-09-091296 Spliced Minor (2m)
    2022-03-251264 Plain Bob Major
    2022-01-141296 Cambridge Surprise Minor
    2021-10-291260 Grandsire Triples
    2021-08-231260 Plain Bob Doubles
    2020-01-241260 Grandsire Triples
    2019-12-131280 Spliced Treble Dodging Major
    2019-11-011440 Double Oxford Bob Minor
    2019-09-161280 London Surprise Major
    2019-08-021260 St Simon's Bob Doubles
    2019-07-061280 Superlative Surprise Major
    2019-06-281250 Turramurra Surprise Major
    2019-06-271280 Dereham Surprise Major
    2019-05-301260 Grandsire Doubles
    2019-04-061280 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    2019-03-291260 Grandsire Triples
    2019-02-221500 Doubles (2m)
    2019-02-101272 Higgledy Piggledy Minimus
    2019-01-051440 Spliced Surprise Minor (4m)
    2018-10-221260 Plain Bob Doubles
    2018-09-121260 Grandsire Triples
    2018-09-111250 Thanet Surprise Major
    Full list of peals on Bellboard here
    Full list of quarters on Bellboard here

    Elsewhere in the Parish

    Sheldwich, Sheldwich Court
    Single bell

    Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 6 November 2020