Untitled Document

Lewisham, St Mary the Virgin

Photo: Dickon Love, Apr 2003

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
(As received 1894)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned
Treble 5¼ cwt approx.29½" E♭ 1819 Thomas Mears II Never
2 6-0-1130½" D 1895 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Never
3 6-2-1033" C 1819 Thomas Mears II Never
4 7-1-1335" B♭ 1894 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Never
5 9¼ cwt approx.38" A♭ 1777 Pack & Chapman, Whitechapel Never
6 8-3-1812-0-2141" G 1743 Pack & Chapman, Whitechapel 1894 John Taylor
7 16-3-1945¾" F 1894 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Never
Tenor 21-1-1450" E♭ 1777 Pack & Chapman, Whitechapel Never


The 1766 ring of 8

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Treble (of 8)5-1-1028"F1766Lester & PackNeverScrapped 1777
2nd (of 8)5-2-929½"E1766Lester & PackNeverRecast or retuned to E 1777 to become 1 of 8. Recast 1819.
3rd (of 8)6-1-1331"D1766Lester & PackNeverBecame 2 of 8 in 1777. Scrapped at 6-0-12 in 1895.
4th (of 8)7-0-2332¾"C1766Lester & PackNeverBecame 3 of 8 in 1777. Recast 1819.
5th (of 8)7-2-1335"B♭1766Lester & PackNeverBecame 4 of 8 in 1777. Recast 1859.
6th (of 8)8-3-1837"A1766Lester & PackNeverBecame 5 of 8 in 1777. Recast 1877.
7th (of 8)11-2-2339¾"G1766Lester & PackNeverBecame 6 of 8 in 1777. Recast 1776.
Tenor (of 8)15-2-1644½"F1766Lester & PackNeverBecame 7 of 8 in 1777. Recast 1896.

Former 4th

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
4th (of 8)7-1-1335"B♭1859John Warner & SonsNeverRecast 1896. Weight from FER (source unknown).


1471 Plans to build the tower were drawn up.
1512 Tower completed.
1552 Record of 4 bells. [1]
1743 A bell was cast that was later recast into the present 6th.
1766 A new ring of 8 bells was cast by Lester & Pack at Whitechapel.
1774 -7 Rebuilding started on the church and tower by George Gibson, Junior, architect. The first Sunday of its opening was 7 Sept 1777.
1777 On the second Sunday since the reopening of the new church, part of the east side collapsed, hurting just one lady parishioner. As it was considered (in the Kentish Gazette) that the raised tower was too weak to bear the ringing of the bells, it was decided to sell 5 of the bells to raise money for the alteration of the church. In the event the opposite happened and the whole ring remodelled into a heavier one with the addition of a new tenor and the 6th recast acting as the new 5th. The 7th was recast the previous year to form the new 6th. [2]
1819 Treble and 3rd recast by Thomas Mears.
1894 The 7th had become cracked in the crown and was recast by John Taylor (completed 24th Mar). The 6th was also retuned at this time (completed 12th Mar).
1895 The 2nd had become cracked and was recast by John Taylor.
1896 4th recast by John Taylor who rehung all the bells in a new frame. [2]
1950 Bells rehung on ball bearings by Mears & Stainbank. It seems certain that the bells never left the tower.
1991 Tower roof repaired.
[1] Item iiij greate bells of brasse sutyd in the Steple. Item on sants bell of brasse called the morowmas bell. Item on hand bell & ij sacryng bells of brasse. (Edwardian Inventory, 1552)
[2] On Sunday while divine service was performing for the second Sunday since the new church at Lewisham in Kent was built, part of the said church the East side fell to the ground. The inhabitants were much alarmed, but providentially only one woman was hurt, though many were put into the greatest fear. As the steeple is too high and weak to bear the ringing of the bells, five of the eight are to be taken down and sold, to help to pay for the alterations going to be made in the body of the church, which is not well contrived for room. (Kentish Gazette, Sat 20 Sept 1777)
[2] "Ex Lewisham, one cracked bell nett 6-0-12." Could refer to old 2nd though the Job Book says it was recast on 4th Sept 1895. It is possible though that the new 2nd was recast before the old 2nd was entered into the Furnace Book. (Taylor furnace book, 11 Feb, 1896)


  • "St Mary, Lewisham, London SE13", Stevenson, Ian P (The Ringing World) 9 December 1977
  • Gallery

    Recent Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2016-12-105024 Spliced Surprise Major
    2003-04-055056 Cambridge Surprise Major
    2000-10-075088 Otley Surprise Major
    1988-03-275040 Grandsire Triples
    1984-10-065184 Lancashire Surprise Major
    1983-04-105024 Rutland Surprise Major
    1969-08-235184 Lewisham Surprise Major
    1909-02-135056 Superlative Surprise Major
    1908-07-115024 Double Norwich Court Bob Major
    1907-02-165024 Real Double Norwich Court Bob Major
    1904-06-185152 Superlative Surprise Major
    1894-05-195040 Double Norwich Court Bob Major
    1883-03-055120 Kent Treble Bob Major
    1879-04-305040 Grandsire Triples
    1856-02-145040 Grandsire Triples
    1837-04-095040 Grandsire Triples
    1833-12-095040 Grandsire Triples
    1829-10-045040 Grandsire Triples
    1829-05-075040 Plain Bob Major
    1828-10-155040 Grandsire Triples
    1819-11-285040 Grandsire Triples
    1817-09-075040 Grandsire Triples
    1812-12-135040 Grandsire Triples
    1801-10-185024 Oxford Treble Bob Major
    1788-08-035040 Grandsire Triples
    Recent Quarter Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2019-08-031314 Bristol Surprise Major
    2019-03-171296 Stedman Triples
    2018-11-241260 St Simons Bob Triples
    2018-11-181260 Plain Bob Doubles
    2018-05-131260 Grandsire Triples
    2018-03-041260 Grandsire Doubles
    2017-05-061260 Plain Bob Doubles
    2016-07-031440 London Surprise Minor
    2016-06-191260 Plain Bob Doubles
    2016-06-051260 Plain Bob Doubles
    2016-05-011250 Bristol Surprise Major
    2016-02-071250 Lincolnshire Surprise Major
    2015-11-011250 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    2015-07-301260 Grandsire Triples
    2015-07-051260 Plain Bob Doubles
    2015-03-011260 Plain Bob Doubles
    2015-01-041344 Grandsire Triples
    2014-07-061260 Grandsire Triples
    2013-08-281280 Bristol Surprise Major
    2013-06-161260 Stedman Triples
    2013-03-031260 Grandsire Triples
    2012-04-081280 Superlative Surprise Major
    2012-03-041344 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    2012-02-051312 Cambridge Surprise Major
    2010-07-041260 Stedman Triples
    Full list of peals on Bellboard here
    Full list of quarters on Bellboard here

    Elsewhere in the Parish

    Brockley, Prendergast School

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