Tonbridge, Ss Peter & Paul

Photo: Dickon Love, 16 Sept 2017

  • 8 bells hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 19-1-0 in E
  • Grid Ref: TQ591467
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Denomination: Church of England
  • Diocese (Anglican): Rochester
  • Kent County Association of Change Ringers District: Tonbridge
  • Building Listed Grade: II* Click for Heritage details.
  • Peals rung at the tower (Felstead Database)

  • Sound recording of the sanctus bell.(Dickon R Love, 31 Dec 2004)

    Details of the Bells

    Bell Weight
    (most recent)

    (Supplied weight)
    Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
    ® Treble 5-2-21 29" E♭ 1952 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Flat
    ® 2 6-0-20 30" D 1952 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Flat
    ® 3 6-1-26 32" C 1952 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Flat
    ® 4 7-2-4 7-3-15 33⅞" B♭ 1774 Pack & Chapman, Whitechapel Conventional "Maiden bell" Tuned 1951 Mears & Stainbank
    ® 5 8-3-23 9-1-23 36¾" A♭ 1774 Pack & Chapman, Whitechapel Conventional "Maiden bell" Tuned 1951 Mears & Stainbank
    ® 6 10-1-27 10-3-25 39⅜" G 1774 Pack & Chapman, Whitechapel Conventional "Tuned ¼" Tuned 1951 Mears & Stainbank
    ® 7 14-1-27 42⅞" F 1952 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Flat
    ® Tenor 19-1-0 48½" E♭ 1897 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Conventional
    Priest's Bell ½ cwt approx. 13¼" A♭ Unknown

    ® - Hung for full circle ringing

    Bellframes

    Frame Bells Year Maker Material Truss(es) Local
    Layout
    1 All bells 1774 Pack & Chapman, Whitechapel Timber 8
    Of the 1774 ring of eight (cast weights given)

    Bell Weight
    (most recent)
    Diameter Date Founder Retuned Fate
    Treble (of 8) 6-0-8 29½" 1774 Pack & Chapman "Maiden bell" Recast 1951
    2nd (of 8) 6-2-1 30¼" 1774 Pack & Chapman "Maiden bell" Recast 1951
    3rd (of 8) 6-2-22 31⅞" 1774 Pack & Chapman "Maiden bell" Recast 1951
    7th (of 8) 14-0-9 43" 1774 Pack & Chapman "Tuned ¼" Recast 1951
    Tenor (of 8) 19-3-5 48½" 1774 Pack & Chapman "Maiden bell" Recast 1897
    1913 recast

    Bell Weight
    (most recent)
    Diameter Date Founder Retuned Fate
    Treble (of 2) 6-0-8 29½" 1913 Mears & Stainbank Never Recast 1951
    History

    c1700 The Sanctus Bell was recast.
    1774 Ring of 8 cast by Pack & Chapman to replace an earlier ring of 6.
    1837 There was a disagreement between the ringers and Vicar. The ringers wanted to ring the bells to celebrate the return of their Liberal MP to Parliament. However the Vicar, who was a Tory told the ringers to be silent. One of the ringers taunted the Vicar saying that his cure consisted of 'souls' not 'bells' and that he should but out. The ringers appealed to the MP, who did not want to make an issue out of this. The Vicar made up with the ringers by presenting them with a sovereign, but reminded them that if they tried that trick again, he would have them in court! [1]
    1879 Church completely restored and a second south aisle added.
    1897 Tenor recast by Mears & Stainbank.
    1913 Treble recast by Mears & Stainbank.
    1948 John Taylor & Co. visited the tower and condemned the frame. They found the 7th cracked and quoted for recasting it and tuning the other secen with all new fittings and frames (including for the Priest's bell. They also quoted for recasting the lot (except the Priest's bell) to a new eight, 19 cwt in E ("along the lines of the bells we cast for St George, Gravesend or The Annunciation, Chislehurst").
    1951 Bells 1, 2, 3 and 7 recast by Mears & Stainbank.

    [1] Public Dinner to T. L. Hodges, Esq., M.P., at Tonbridge: One circumstance connected with this dinner requires particular notice. On the second day of the election, the loyal and Liberal inhabitants of Tonbridge wishes to celebrate the return of Mr. Hodges - the "Old English Gentleman" - in an Old English manner - namely, by having a joyful peal upon their own church bells, which they probably bought, and certainly keep in repair, out of their church-rates. The ringers had been engaged with their usual skill for some time and everybody’s heart was dancing with glee, - when the Tory Vicar, Sir Charles Hardinge, entered the belfry, and commanded the ringers to be silent. We hear that one of them had spirit enough to remind the Rev. Vicar that his cure consisted, not of "bells" but of "souls;" and that he would follow out the injunctions of his meek and lowly master, by applying his zeal to the body of his church rather than the belfry! The ringers, however, consulted the Liberals, who, like loyal and peaceful subjects as they are, preferred losing the music of their bells to a squabble with their spiritual shepherd; and, in the words of a shrewd correspondent, "left the worthy Vicar in the full, quiet, and peaceful possession of 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. bob, dodge, etc." On the next day the heart of the Vicar softened a little, and, with the caprice which seems his great characteristic, he presented the ringers with a sovereign! Subsequently his heart became as hard as Pharoah’s, and he declared that if any person dared to ring the bells he would bring an action (of ecclesiastical waste, we presume!) against him, in the Ecclesiastical Court! Application was made in the usual form to Mr Jewhurst, the Churchwarden; but not a clapper was permitted to way in the cause of Reform, although Mr. Jewhurst, in addressing the first reform meeting that was held in Tonbridge, very truly stated that "the cause of reform founded on righteousness!"' ('South Eastern Gazette - Tues 22 Aug 1837)
    Gallery


    The belfry, with the tenor in the foreground.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 31 Dec 2004

    The Sanctus bell hung in its own pit in the frame.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 31 Dec 2004
    Peal boards

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1987

  • Dec 1986: 1260 Plain Bob Triples (100th anniversary of the local change ringing society.)
  • Dec 1986: 1260 Plain Bob Triples (100th anniversary of the local change ringing society.)
  • Dec 1986: 1260 Grandsire Triples (100th anniversary of the local change ringing society.)
  • Dec 1986: 1260 Stedman Triples (100th anniversary of the local change ringing society.)

  • Photo: Richard A Smith, 22 August 2018

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1963

  • Nov 1963: 5056 Cambridge S Major

  • Photo: Richard A Smith, 22 August 2018

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1965

  • Jan 1965: 5040 Grandsire Triples (in memoriam Sir Winston Churchill.)

  • Photo: Richard A Smith, 22 August 2018

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1967

  • Dec 1966: 5088 Tonbridge S Major

  • Photo: Richard A Smith, 22 August 2018

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1969

  • Mar 1969: 5056 Spliced S Major (4m)

  • Photo: Richard A Smith, 22 August 2018

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 2002

  • Jun 2002: 5040 Grandsire Triples (Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.)

  • Photo: Richard A Smith, 22 August 2018

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1887

  • May 1887: 5040 Grandsire Triples

  • Photo: Richard A Smith, 22 August 2018

    Timber Bell/Restoration Detail Board dated approx. 1887


    Photo: Richard A Smith, 22 August 2018

    Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1897

  • Sept 1896 : 5040 Grandsire Triples
  • Jun 1897 : 5040 Grandsire Triples

  • Photo: Richard A Smith, 22 August 2018


    Page updated: 28 June 2020