Untitled Document

Chiddingstone, St Mary the Virgin


Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
(As supplied 1838)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned
Treble 5-1-27 E♭ 1784 Robert Patrick, Whitechapel 1991 Whitechapel
2 4-3-05-1-12 D 1838 Thomas Mears II 1991 Whitechapel
3 6-0-632" C 1893 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel 1991 Whitechapel
4 6-1-246-3-19 B♭ 1838 Thomas Mears II 1991 Whitechapel
5 8-2-27 A♭ 1784 Robert Patrick, Whitechapel 1991 Whitechapel
6 10-0-13 G 1991 Whitechapel Bell Foundry 1991 Whitechapel
7 14-2-5 F 1753 Lester & Pack, Whitechapel 1991 Whitechapel
Tenor 17-0-347½" E♭ 1867 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel 1991 Whitechapel


Original Ring of 8

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Treble (of 8)1750Robert CatlinNeverRecast in 1784.
2nd (of 8)1750Robert CatlinNeverRecast in 1838.
3rd (of 8)1750Robert CatlinNeverRecast in 1813.
4th (of 8)1750Robert CatlinNeverRecast in 1838.
5th (of 8)1750Robert CatlinNeverRecast in 1784.
6th (of 8)1750Robert CatlinNeverRecast in 1753.
7th (of 8)1750Robert CatlinNeverRecast in 1753.
Tenor (of 8)17-3-31750Robert CatlinNeverRecast in 1867.

Recast in 1893

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
3rd (of 8)6-3-525"1813Thomas Mears INeverRecast in 1893. (Weight is gross)
6th (of 8)11-0-1132"1753Lester & PackNeverRecast in 1893. (Weight is gross)

Recast in 1991

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
6th (of 8)10-1-271893Mears & StainbankNeverRecast in 1991 (Weight @ 1893)

Recast in 1893.

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate


1565 -7 1st recorded payment for "The Reparation of the Chyming of the Clock and Bells."
1567 -9 1st recorded payment for the renewal of ropes and clappers.
1573 Bells rehung in a new frame at a cost of £10.5s.6d.
1621 Thomas Hatch was paid 3s 6d for "Hanging and Trussing the Bells."
1623 4 bell ropes were bought indicating the presence of 4 bells at the time.
1624 The church was struck by lightning and was largely destroyed on 24th July. The tenor, recast the year before, was recast again by John Wilnar for £7.15s. 5 ropes bought. Allen Hatch paid £7.2s.4d for "mending the bells". This was a considerable sum and implies that one of the bells was recast. The tenor was recast by John Wilnar for £7.15s.0d. Work took place on the clappers by a gentleman called Brooker.
1627 3 bells were recast by John Wilnar (one of which may have been a sanctus bell).
1628 5 bell ropes were bought, confirming that there were (at least) 5 bells in the tower.
1629 13th Sept. Church reconsecrated by the Bishop of Rochester.
1631 There were clearly problems with the treble bell and clapper as various pieces of work needed to be done to it. Eventually John Wilnar recast is for £8.6s.11d.
1639 Thomas Croft built a new frame for £12.16s.6d.
1680 Bells rehung by John Chatfield for £24.
1692 Tenor rehung for over £5 by Francis Udall, assisted by Thomas Shoebridge who did the ironwork.
1710 New church clock installed.
1750 The 5 bells were recast (with more metal) into 8 by Robert Catlin, who hung them in a new frame. This was Catlin's penultimate job of work.
1752 6th and 7th recast by Lester & Pack.
1784 Treble and 5th recast by Robert Patrick, acting as an agent for the bellfoundry in Whitechapel.
1813 3rd recast by Thomas Mears and the remainder repaired.
1814 "Old carved wood" was put up at the entrance of the ringing gallery as part of a general refurbishment of the church.
1817 Jan. A new window and new screen was put up in the ringing gallery, presented by Mrs Sophia Streatfeild.
1838 2nd and 4th recast by Thomas Mears. [1]
1859 Ringing gallery was pulled down and replaced with the organ.
1867 Tenor recast by Mears & Stainbank. [2]
1893 3rd and 6th recast and bells rehung by Mears & Stainbank. A clock was supplied by Gillett & Johnston. [3]
1899 Tower reported unsafe and ringing stopped.
1901 Structures built in the tower to spread the weight of the bells and frame evenly over the whole tower instead of on the holes in the stonework were put in by A E Nunn of Tenterden. Ringing could therefore resume.
1911 Minor repairs effected on the bells by Mears & Stainbank at a cost of £11.10s.
1929 7th and tenor rehung by Gillett & Johnston with new fittings.
1976 Front 6 rehung on ball bearings by Christopher Mundy and Andrew Corby with new fittings supplied by Whitechapel.
1991 6th recast and whole peal rehung by Whitechapel. They were rededicated by the Bishop of Rochester on 8th September.
[1] 1838, 21st Sept: The Parish of Chiddingstone. To 2 Bells 5-1-12, 6-3-19 (12-1-5 @ 15d) £80.4.2, booking etc 10s, Hanging &c £6, Carriage £2.10. Total £89.4.2 1838 3rd Oct: The Parish of Chiddingstone - By old bells 13-2-9, £63.7.6, charges £2, Total £65.7 (Whitechapel Day Book)
[2] 1868, 7th Jan: H.D. Streatfield CW Chiddingstone, Nr. Penshurst. To a Bell Tenor recast 19-2-1 @£7/-/- £136.11.3 11th Mar: H.D. Streatfield. By old bell 18-1-2 gross (17-3-3 net) £87.2.1; I.e. net cost £49.9.2 (Whitechapel Day Book)
[3] 1893 29th Jun: Whitechapel Daybook records the recasting of 3rd and 6th bells at net cost £34.7.8. The provision of 8 sets of new fittings including 4 new wheels & new clapper for the tenor, £71. Repairs to frame & fittings & rehanging £46. Total £151.7.8 (Whitechapel Day Book)


  • "A highly satisfactory restoration at Chiddingstone", Corby, Philip A (The Ringing World) 30 August 1991
  • "A great day at Chiddingstone", Corby, Philip A (The Ringing World) 25 October 1991
  • "The Bells of St Mary's, Chiddingstone", Corby, Lucile (The Ringing World and Lovesguide) 1 January 2004
  • Gallery

    The tenor bell.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 31 Dec 2004

    View of the belfry.
    Photo: Dickon Love, 31 Dec 2004
    Recent Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2017-03-185040 Julie Mcdonnell Bob Major
    2010-11-205184 Oxney Surprise Major
    2008-07-195120 Spliced Surprise Major
    2007-11-175088 Fordcombe Surprise Major
    2007-02-035088 Spliced Surprise Major
    2006-11-065056 Bristol Surprise Major
    2006-02-135152 Spliced Surprise Major (7m)
    2005-04-235152 Imberhorne Surprise Major
    2005-03-195024 Belgrave Surprise Major
    2002-01-195040 Double Norwich Court Bob Major
    2001-05-245088 Bristol Surprise Major
    2001-03-315088 Spliced Surprise Major
    1902-11-015056 Kent Treble Bob Major
    1897-05-155024 Kent Treble Bob Major
    1895-11-305152 Plain Bob Major
    1894-02-245040 Grandsire Triples
    1837-06-125040 Grandsire Triples
    1798-08-045040 Grandsire Triples
    1777-07-066720 Plain Bob Major
    Recent Quarter Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2017-12-281260 Plain Bob Triples
    2017-12-161260 Middlesex Bob Triples
    2017-12-011260 Grandsire Triples
    2017-03-221260 Grandsire Triples
    2016-10-071287 Grandsire Triples
    2016-09-201287 Grandsire Triples
    2016-09-141260 Grandsire Triples
    2016-04-161280 Cadmium Surprise Major
    2015-11-281260 Single Oxford Bob Triples
    2015-05-251280 Jevington Surprise Major
    2015-04-151260 Plain Bob Triples
    2015-03-191250 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    2015-02-141260 Doubles (2m)
    2014-08-101260 Grandsire Doubles
    2014-07-241280 Cambridge Surprise Major
    2013-12-071344 St Clements College Bob Major
    2013-08-241280 Kent Treble Bob Major
    2013-07-291260 Doubles
    2012-08-111280 Plain Bob Major
    2012-06-101260 Grandsire Triples
    2012-03-121344 Ashington Surprise Major
    2011-11-051260 Stedman Triples
    2011-05-301264 Plain Bob Major
    2010-11-201260 Stedman Triples
    2010-05-311260 Plain Bob Triples
    Full list of peals here
    Full list of quarters here

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