Whitstable, St Alphege

Photo: Benjamin Legg

  • 8 bells hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 3-1-13 in G.
  • Grid Ref: TR107664
  • Kent's lightest ring of 8
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Frame: 1969 Whitechapel Bell Foundry, modified in 1973
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Canterbury
  • Kent County Association of Change Ringers District: Canterbury
  • Peals rung at the tower

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® Treble 1-0-715¼" G 1973 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 2 1-0-1515¾" F♯ 1973 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 3 1-2-217" E 1975 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 4 1-1-2618" D 1969 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 5 1-2-2219" C 1969 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 6 1-3-1320" B 1969 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 7 2-1-1522" A 1969 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® Tenor 3-1-1324" G 1969 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never

®  - Hung for full circle ringing


How the bells are tuned

Earlier Tubular Bells

Bell Weight
Date Founder Fate
1 0-2-71920 Harrington, Holland & Co., Coventry Disposed of in 1968
2 0-2-11920 Harrington, Holland & Co., Coventry Disposed of in 1968
3 0-2-121920 Harrington, Holland & Co., Coventry Disposed of in 1968
4 0-2-261920 Harrington, Holland & Co., Coventry Disposed of in 1968
5 0-3-71920 Harrington, Holland & Co., Coventry Disposed of in 1968
6 0-3-271920 Harrington, Holland & Co., Coventry Disposed of in 1968
7 1-0-11920 Harrington, Holland & Co., Coventry Disposed of in 1968
8 1-1-111920 Harrington, Holland & Co., Coventry Disposed of in 1968

Recast in 1975

Bell Weight
(most recent)
3rd (of 8)1-1-617"1969WhitechapelNeverRecast 1975

Prior to 1968

Bell Weight
(most recent)

(Supplied weight)
Single bell12-2-1712-2-2342"F♯1845Charles & George MearsNeverScrapped 1968


1560 Bells from the old church stolen by Mayor Lynche of Sandwich!
1592 Bell cast for the old church by Robert Mot of Whitechapel (rehung by Whitechapel in 1967).
1665 5th cast for St Andrew, Toddington, Norfolk by Robert Gurney.
1755 2nd, 3rd and 4th cast for St Andrew, Toddington, Norfolk by Lester & Pack.
1845 A new church was built and a bell, weighing 12-2-17, was cast by C. & G. Mears. This bell was later given to the new church. The church was consecrated by Archbishop Howley on 9th Oct. [1]
1846 The nave of the old church was demolished. The bell was rehung in the chancel turret.
1851 Treble cast for St Andrew, Toddington, Norfolk by John Taylor.
1920 A set of 8 tubular bells, cast by Messrs Harrington, Holland & Co of Coventry was given to the church by Mr & Mrs Alfred Nicholls of Stocksfield, Newcastle-upon-Tyne as a private War Memorial. (Treble 0-2-7; tenor 1-1-11; whole installation:7-0-13). [2] [3] [4]
1939 The tubular bells were overhauled. [5]
1942 The church of St Andrew, Toddington, Norfolk was closed and the bells removed.
1947 Tubular bells restored by Mrs M. Burrough as a memorial to her son who was killed in action in 1943.
1968 The tubular bells and the larger bell were removed and sold, the proceeds of which helped to pay for the installation of six new ringing bells.
1969 5 smaller bells were brought from Tottington, Norfolk on 31st January. A new ring of 6 was cast from the metal of these bells at Whitechapel (on 23rd April) and the new ring of six was dedicated by the Bishop of Dover on 21st September.
1973 2 trebles added to make 8 by Whitechapel.
1974 New bells dedicated by the Archdeacon of Canterbury on 6th Jan.
1975 The 3rd was replaced with a bell 24 lbs heavier, cast at Whitechapel, dedicated by the Rev'd David Cawley on 31st January, 1976.
[1] CONSECRATION OF SEASALTER CHURCH, WHITSTABLE. On Thursday this very gratifying ceremony was performed by his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury. (Kentish Gazette, Tues 14 Oct 1845)
[2] MUNIFICENT GIFT TO ST. ALPHEGE CHURCH.- The townspeople were pleased to hear of the presentation of tubular bells to St Alphege by a native of Whitstable, Mr Alfred Nicholls J.P., of Whins, Stocksfield-on-Tyne, and Mrs. Nicholls. Mr Nicholls felt he would like to do something for his native town and in memory of the local men who fell in the War, and a more useful gift he could not have thought of, for St. Alphege has always been in need of a set of bells. We feel sure this munificent gift by Mr. and Mrs. Nicholls will be greatly appreciated by the town. (Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Sat 23 Oct 1920)
[3] MEMORIAL SERVICE ON ARMISTICE DAY AT S. ALPHEGE CHURCH. PEAL OF TUBULAR BELLS TO BE DEDICATED BY ARCHDEACON OF CANTERBURY. There will again be a United Memorial Service on Armistice Day at 3 p.m. in St. Alphege Church, and this year it will be combined with a dedication service at which the peal of tubular bells will be dedicated and a tablet in the church porch unveiled. The Venerable L. J. White-Thomson, M.A., Archdeacon of Canterbury, will perform the ceremony, The Council and all public bodies have been invited. There will be a gathering in the Parish Hall afterwards to thank Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Nicholls, who are giving the bells to the parish. (Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Sat 6 Nov 1920)
[4] The new bells were dedicated on Armistice Day (11 Nov) 1920 by the Archdeacon of Canterbury, the Ven L J White-Thomson. (Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Sat 13 Nov 1920)
[5] It is pleasing for the Council to be able to report that the renovation of the tubular bells was completed in time for the Easter Festival. The work has been carried out at a total cost of £2 only against an estimate of £30. The Council is grateful to the several workers in this direction (Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, Sat 4 Mar 1939)


  • "St Alphege, Seasalter, Dedication", Author unknown (The Ringing World) 29 March 1974
  • "Dedication of Peal of Tubular Bells", Newspaper journalist (Whitstable Times and Tankerton Press) 18 November 1920
  • Gallery

    The old "Great Bell" of Seasalter being dismantled in August 1968.
    Photo: David Cawley. 1968

    The new ring of 6 bells at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, July 1969.
    Photo: David Cawley. 1968

    Whitechapel bellhanger, Philip Jakeman (with his son Stephen) with the smallest bells he ever hung for ringing - in his own tower in Whitstable!
    Photo: David Cawley. 1968

    The Tottington bells leave Norfolk for ever on31st January, 1969, to be recast into the back 5 at St Alphege.
    Photo: David Cawley
    Recent Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2019-09-215040 Minor (2m)
    2012-04-225040 Plain Bob Triples
    2011-05-225152 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    2004-01-025152 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    1998-12-305056 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    1998-12-065040 Grandsire Triples
    1991-12-285056 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    1984-08-185152 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    1982-09-115056 Plain Bob Major
    1980-06-285040 Grandsire Triples
    1978-06-035040 Grandsire Triples
    1977-05-275184 Rutland Surprise Major
    1977-05-085152 Lincolnshire Surprise Major
    1976-09-265056 Plain Bob Major
    1976-09-255040 Stedman Triples
    1976-01-315008 Plain Bob Major
    1975-01-045056 Plain Bob Major
    1974-06-245040 Minor (2m)
    1972-09-235040 Cambridge Surprise Minor
    1972-06-175040 Plain Bob Minor
    1970-10-105040 Minor (3m)
    Recent Quarter Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2019-04-101260 Doubles
    2018-11-111260 Grandsire Doubles
    2018-09-121344 Cambridge Surprise Major
    2018-07-141260 Grandsire Triples
    2018-02-161260 Stedman Triples
    2017-11-051260 Grandsire Doubles
    2017-09-221260 Grandsire Triples
    2016-10-301260 Grandsire Triples
    2015-11-011260 Grandsire Doubles
    2015-02-011260 Doubles
    2014-12-071260 Grandsire Triples
    2014-11-021260 Grandsire Doubles
    2014-10-051260 Grandsire Doubles
    2013-11-031260 Grandsire Doubles
    2013-08-111260 Grandsire Doubles
    2013-05-051260 Plain Bob Minor
    2013-04-211260 Doubles
    2012-11-041260 Grandsire Doubles
    2012-04-011260 Grandsire Doubles
    2012-03-041260 Grandsire Doubles
    2012-01-071280 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    2012-01-011260 Plain Bob Minor
    2011-12-041260 Doubles
    2011-08-071280 Bristol Surprise Major
    2011-07-101260 Plain Bob Triples
    Full list of peals on Bellboard here
    Full list of quarters on Bellboard here

    Elsewhere in the Parish

    Whitstable, The Two Brewers
    Formerly 8 bells, 2 cwt approx., hung as fixed chime

    Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 21 October 2020