Wateringbury, St John the Baptist

  • 6 bells hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 7-1-19 in B♭.
  • Grid Ref: TQ685536
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Rochester
  • Kent County Association of Change Ringers District: Maidstone
  • Building Listed Grade: II* Click for Heritage details.
  • Peals rung at the tower

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)

(Recorded by Taylors in 1890)

(Prior to retuning)

(Tower notice)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® Treble 3-0-83-1-43-0-1824" G 1859 George Mears & Co., Whitechapel 1949 Mears & Stainbank
® 2 3-2-204-0-83-3-1026" F 1859 George Mears & Co., Whitechapel 1949 Mears & Stainbank
® 3 4-1-24-2-194-1-1528" E♭ 1859 George Mears & Co., Whitechapel 1949 Mears & Stainbank
® 4 5-0-225-2-145-1-1830¾" D 1831 Thomas Mears II, Whitechapel 1949 Mears & Stainbank
® 5 6-0-06-2-206-0-2732½" C 1831 Thomas Mears II, Whitechapel 1949 Mears & Stainbank
® Tenor 7-1-197-2-167-1-1434¾" B♭ 1886 John Warner & Sons 1949 Mears & Stainbank

®  - Hung for full circle ringing


Earlier tenor

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Tenor (of 6)7-3-836"1831Thomas Mears IINeverWeight from JT records (1860). Recast 1886.


1798 Hasted recorded 3 bells in the tower. [1]
1831 The 3 bells were recast by Thomas Mears. An appeal had been set up for public subscription in 1829 and by January of this year, an enquirer in the local newspaper who called himself "An Old Ringer" sought an update on the work. [2]
1859 The bells were augmented to 6 with the addition of 3 bells on the front by George Mears. There is a record of the East Peckham ringers visiting in January the following year to complete a 720 where the locals appreciated the improved variety of sound following the augmentation. The church had appointed 10 ringers to ring the bells at Wateringbury, all of whom were mechanics by trade, and they practised twice a week. [3]
1860 Taylor records say: "Wateringbury, Kent: Taylor Job book 1844-1860 (at back, with notes on bells by other founders etc) 1-3 by Mears 1859, others by T. Mears 1831, weights 3-1-14, 4-0-8, 4-2-19, 5-2-14, 6-2-20, 7-3-8." They were spying on the opposition!
1885 Spire destroyed by fire, which also cracked the tenor.
1886 Spire rebuilt and tenor recast by John Warner & Sons.
1949 Bells retuned and rehung on ball bearings.
[1] The church, which is dedicated to St. John Baptist, stands at the west end of the village, It is an antient gothic building, with a high spire steeple, in which hang three bells, it was repaired at a great expence in 1745. (Hasted "The history and topographical survey of the county of Kent, Second Edition, Vol 5")
[2] To the Editor of the Maidstone Journal. Sir, Probably through your widely circulated Paper, some one of your readers could inform an enquirer, what has become of the Church Bells of a neighbouring parish (Wateringbury), and also of the money subscribed for new ones, now nearly two years ago? Having an ear for music, and some feeling for the pockets of the subscribers, he would like to hear of one or the other being in their proper places. Your insertion of this would much oblige, Sir. AN OLD RINGER. Jan 17th 1831 (Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, Tuesday 18 January 1831)
[3] [Saturday 28 January 1860] Wateringbury - On Tuesday night, by the permission of the churchwarden of the parish, Mr. J. B. Jude, the East Peckham ringers visited our belfry to ring a peal upon our newly swung bells, which they completed in a masterly style in 25 minutes. The ringers were as follows:- John Rogers, treble; G. Bishop, sen., 2nd; E. Hilder, 3rd; R. Bishop, jun,. 4th; W. Hilder, 5th; K. Bassett, tenor. We scarcely know how to make enough of our really beautiful peal of six bells, having only heard a monotonous ding-dong for so many years. [Saturday 28 February 1860] - Wateringbury - On Monday night the Mereworth ringers delighted the residents of our village by ringing upon our six bells the peal called "grandsire triple," which was completed in 24 minutes, and was performed in good style. Our ten appointed ringers, who are all mechanics, take so much interest in the art of bell-ringing that they practice twice a week, and are getting on very satisfactorily. (Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser)

Recent Peals
The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
2017-12-045040 Surprise Minor
2017-06-075040 Minor (6m)
2007-02-235040 Spliced Surprise Minor (14 methods)
2006-07-155040 Surprise Minor
2004-03-015040 Surprise Minor
1996-04-065040 Spliced Surprise Minor (35m)
1995-09-095040 Surprise Minor (7m)
1991-12-135040 Surprise Minor (7m)
1991-10-195040 Doubles (7m)
1990-01-225040 Minor (5m)
1989-07-015040 Doubles (5m)
1986-02-165040 Doubles (5m)
1984-02-175040 Minor (3m)
1978-04-085040 Plain Bob Minor
1977-09-175040 Minor (16m)
1977-03-125040 Minor (2m)
1973-12-315040 Minor (7m)
1969-03-225040 Minor (7m)
1967-04-085040 Plain Bob Minor
1966-02-055040 Minor (3m)
1964-10-175040 Spliced Surprise Minor (25m)
1962-08-205040 London Surprise Minor
1962-02-055040 Minor (12m)
1961-10-215040 Spliced Surprise Minor (23m)
1961-08-285040 Minor (7m)
Recent Quarter Peals
The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
2019-11-191260 Stedman Doubles
2019-03-201260 Shields Road Bob Minor
2019-03-201260 Double Oxford Bob Minor
2019-01-311296 Spliced Surprise Minor (3m)
2018-09-211296 Cambridge Surprise Minor
2018-05-291260 St Simon's Bob Doubles
2018-04-241260 Plain Bob Doubles
2017-12-291260 Doubles (5m)
2017-09-291320 Doubles (3m)
2017-07-181296 Abbeyville Delight Minor
2016-09-271260 Plain Bob Doubles
2016-06-251272 London Surprise Minor
2015-06-161260 Plain Bob Doubles
2014-11-171260 Single Oxford Bob Minor
2014-10-171260 3 Doubles
2013-07-261320 Plain Bob Minor
2013-06-251260 Plain Bob Doubles
2013-06-251260 Plain Bob Doubles
2012-06-051260 Plain Bob Minor
2011-08-051320 Oxford Treble Bob Minor
2011-07-191260 Plain Bob Doubles
2011-05-091320 Burslem Delight Minor
2010-05-171260 Single Oxford Bob Minor
2009-08-181296 Cambridge Surprise Minor
2009-07-141260 Plain Bob Doubles
Full list of peals on Bellboard here
Full list of quarters on Bellboard here

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