Whitstable, All Saints

  • 6 bells hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 7-2-6 in G♯.
  • Grid Ref: TR117662
  • Complete ring cast at the same time
  • Rung from: Ground Floor
  • Frame: 1930 Mears & Stainbank
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Canterbury
  • 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)

(Prior to retuning)

(Original tuning comments)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® Treble 3-2-103-2-15tick, 1♭, blank, tick, F♯25⅛" E♯ 1730 Samuel Knight, Southwark Conventional 1930 Mears & Stainbank
® 2 3-2-83-2-13½♭, ½♭, blank, tick, E26³⁄₁₆" D♯ 1730 Samuel Knight, Southwark Conventional 1930 Mears & Stainbank
® 3 4-0-234-1-141#, tick, blank, tick, D28⅛" C 1730 Samuel Knight, Southwark Conventional 1930 Mears & Stainbank
® 4 4-2-134-3-01#. ⅛♭, blank, 1♯, C ¼♯29½" B♯ 1730 Samuel Knight, Southwark Conventional 1930 Mears & Stainbank
® 5 5-3-65-3-121#, ¼♭, blank, ½♯, A♯, ¼♯32⁹⁄₁₆" A♯ 1730 Samuel Knight, Southwark Conventional 1930 Mears & Stainbank
® Tenor 7-2-67-2-101#, tick, blank, 1♯, G♯35¼" G♯ 1730 Samuel Knight, Southwark Conventional 1930 Mears & Stainbank

®  - Hung for full circle ringing


How the bells are tuned


c 1420 There were at that time three great bells hanging in the tower, of a combined weight of over two tons. Whether these werre provided in this century or the previous one, we do not know, but it was probably in the 15th century, and in the first half of it. [1]
1594 The 3 bells in the tower were reported to be in a bad condition and that "the whole frame which our bells hangeth in is greatly decayed". [2]
1729 The three great bells had not been rung for some years because the bell frame was in a bad state of repair and the great bell of the three was badly cracked (Green) [3] [4]
1730 Ring of 6 cast by Samuel Knight from the metal of the old 3 (the tenor of which was cracked).
1744 New ropes were provided. [5]
1756 Record of 6 bells in the tower. [6]
1799 Record of 6 bells in the tower. [7]
1844 The bells were inspected and pronounced unsafe to ring. The bells were rehung later that year. [9] [10]
1868 The Parish Magazine recorded that "the bells could not be pealed because there were no ringers." The bells were soon afterwards pealed by means of a machine invented and installed in the tower by Mr James Wood. This consisted of a spiked drum rotated by hand. The spikes protruding from the drum were made to strike against levers which were attached by ropes to the bells. By suitable positioning of the spikes a set of peals could be rung (sic!). The instrument was apparently successful, but was a very heavy machine to work, and it was later discarded. (Green). It stood in the churchyard for years and disappeared after the War.
1875 The church was rebuilt and reopened the following year.
1893 The bells were overhauled by Samuel Goslin
1895 Repairs undertaken by Samuel Goslin permitting ringing after a 25 year break.
1919 Repairs were undertaken by Samuel Goslin and a band of ringers started to be trained.
1921 The bells were inspected by Cyril Johnston of Gillett & Johnston, Croydon. He 'tested the peal' recording their nominals in musical notation as follows: F♯ ; E; D; C¼♯; A♯ ¼♯; G♯. He noted that the tenor had a "blunted edge".t no work was done. (Pitching done 11 Feb.)
1930 The bells were tuned, turned and rehung with all new fittings in a new oak frame, by Mears & Stainbank. A new quarter-chiming clock was installed by Joyce of Whitchurch.
1962 A south aisle was built on to the church opening up the east wall of the tower into the church.
[1] (I. W Green. A History of All Saints Church Whitstable 1959)
[2] (Archdeacon's Visitation presentment)
[3] We the underwritten inhabitants of Whitstable, met together at a vestry, have resolved and agreed and empowered and we do hereby empower the churchwardens to treat with a bell founder for converting our three bells into six (one of the three being now cracked and unfit for use) and in order to defray the charges thereof we do agree to the raising of such sums as shall be necessary. (Vestry Minute Book, 8 Mar 1729)
[4] At a public meeting in ye Parish Church of Whitstable it was agreed by ye parishioners that the present churchwardens and overseers do take up upon their joint bond of interest the some of Sixty Pounds to defray the charges of casting the bells and that the parishioners of Whitstable shall indemnify the said Churchwardens and overseers to the some of Sixty Pounds with the interest thereof by reason ye church cess already granted cannot be gott in. The weights of the Bells were given. They probably include clappers and ironwork: Cwt qr lb 4 0 16, 4 0 20, 4 3 20, 5 1 8, 6 2 8, 8 1 12, [Total] 33 2 0 (Vestry Minute Book, 21 Jun 1729)
[5] At a public vestry it was agreed by the parishioners, then met, that the Churchwardens shall not have new roopes for the bells till the old ones are quite worn out, or until the parishioners have seen them and consented to buy new roopes. (Vestry Minute Book, 26 Jun 1744)
[6] "The Church is not large, but neat; and has a Tower Steeple, in wch. are 6 Musical *Bells, wch. were all new cast in ye Year 1730. *The Bells weigh in all but 31c. 1q. 00l." (Rev’d Bryan Faussett, 1756)
[7] The church, which is dedicated to All Saints, consists of two isles and two chancels, which are embattled, having a tower steeple at the south-west corner, in which hang six bells. ('The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. Vol 8', Edward Hasted)
[8] At a Vestry meeting "the Vicar then spoke of the restoration work that had been carried out in the belfry. A band of ringers, men and women was being trained under Mr A Hopkins, and it was hoped that in a short while the bells would ring again after a period of twenty years during which they had only been chimed. (Vestry Minute Book, Apr 1819)
[9] It was agreed that the churchwardens be authorized to employ a surveyor to examine the state of the belfry and church in general (Vestry Minute Book, 8 Apr 1844)
[10] It appeared that the expense of repairing the belfry, according to the surveyor's specification, would be £58.10.0, which appeared to the vestry should be executed, the bells being pronounced in an unsafe state to play. (Vestry Minute Book, 12 Jun 1844)
[11] (Kent County Association Annual Report 1894)
[12] the bells were "sound, of fair tone but not nicely in tune one with another. The Tenor and 2nd were cast flat, and have been sharpened but they are still flat, the tenor being the worst.. The smaller five bells ought to be flattened to agree with the Tenor. The bells are cast on a thin scale, and it is therefore essential that the main tuning be confined to the tap notes. The chief harmonic tones, called the hum notes, should be corrected as close as possible without sacrificing the quality of tone. The fittings...are all in exceedingly poor condition and should be entirely renewed. The bell frame is of oak. The diagonal braces are very slight...it would only be possible to use a very small quantity of the timber in reconstructing the frame." (Report by Mears & Stainbank, 1929)


All Saints in 1906, long before the south aisle was built (1962) and the tower clock installed (1930).
Photo: David Cawley collection
Recent Quarter Peals
The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
2019-03-301300 Grandsire Doubles
2019-01-051260 Grandsire Doubles
2018-09-031271 Cambridge Surprise Minor
2018-03-071320 Kent Treble Bob Minor
2012-08-151260 Plain Bob Minor
2011-02-251260 Plain Bob Minor
Full list of peals on Bellboard here
Full list of quarters on Bellboard here

Elsewhere in the Parish

Whitstable, Whitstable Cemetery
Formerly 2 chapels with a bell each

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