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Sandwich
 

Sandwich, St Clement


Photo: Richard Offen, May 2004

  • 6 bells hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 12-1-6 in F♯.
  • Grid Ref: TR332580
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Ashford
  • Kent County Association of Change Ringers District: Canterbury
  • Building Listed Grade: I Click for Heritage details.
  • Peals rung at the tower

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® Treble 5-0-2129" D♯ 1819 Thomas Mears II, Whitechapel Removed
® 2 6-0-231.3" C♯ 1819 Thomas Mears II, Whitechapel Removed
® 3 6-1-832.8" B 1819 Thomas Mears II, Whitechapel Removed
® 4 7-1-1335" A♯ 1805 Thomas Mears I, Whitechapel Removed
® 5 8-2-1037.3" G♯ 1805 Thomas Mears I, Whitechapel Removed
® Tenor 12-1-641.8" F♯ 1819 Thomas Mears II, Whitechapel Removed
Service Bell 6 cwt approx.32" 1672 John Hodson, Whitechapel Never

®  - Hung for full circle ringing
 - Hung dead

Inscriptions

Earlier Tubular Bells

Bell Length
DiameterDate Founder Fate
1 69"3½"1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry Disposed of 1990
2 1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry Disposed of 1990
3 1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry Disposed of 1990
4 1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry Disposed of 1990
5 1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry Disposed of 1990
6 1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry Disposed of 1990
7 1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry Disposed of 1990
8 94"3⅞"1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry Disposed of 1990

Prior to 1865

Bell Weight
(most recent)
DateFounderRetunedFate
2nd (of 5)1672John HodsonNeverRemoved 1865
3rd (of 5)1672John HodsonNeverRemoved 1865
4th (of 5)1672John HodsonNeverRemoved 1865
Tenor (of 5)18 cwt approx.1672John HodsonNeverRemoved 1865

History

1508 Benett Webbyx bequeathed to the reparation of the bells of St Clements vjs. viijd. ("Testamenta Vetusta")
1664 Lead clad timber spire removed from the tower and replaced with a timber balustrade and "onion" cupola. Hasted says the battlements and spire were removed between 1670 and 1673.
1672 The bells in the tower were replaced with a new ring of 5 by John Hodson (tenor 18 cwt).
1760 Record of 5 bells in the tower. [1]
1800 Record of 5 bells. [2]
1805 Two bells were cast by Thomas Mears I for St John the Baptist, Kirkheaton, West Yorkshire.
1819 Four more bells cast by Thomas Mears II for Kirkheaton church.
1865 Tower declared unsafe and parapet and cupola were removed. The 4 largest bells were removed from the tower. [3]
1866 The four bells were sold and the remaining treble rehung as a single bell, hung for ringing. (When it was rehung in 1981, the bearings set in the main beams, a slider runner-board and a well-worn pulley were discovered in place beneath.)
1870 Correspondence took place in the Guardian and the Times concerning the sale of 4 of the 5 old bells, with those who made the decision described as "Vandals". [4] [5] [7]
1888 A set of 8 tubular bells were made by Harrington, Latham & Co. of Coventry, given by Mr Thomas Dorman J.P.. [6]
c 1900 The 1672 bell was rehung dead with a massive Ellacombe hammer.
1961 The tubular bells were rehung by Mears & Stainbank.
1981 The tubular bells and the 1672 bell were again rehung, the latter with new and safer stationary fittings from Whitechapel.
1988 8 bells originally cast for St Margaret, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex (cast 1966 albeit with 2 bells replaced; the tower was never built) were purchased from Taylor's & hung at Kirkheaton. The CCCBR Bell Rescue Fund purchased the old 6, fittings & frame. The six bells of St John the Baptist, Kirkheaton were acquired by the Redundant Bells Fund of the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. They were overhauled at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
1989 July The Kirkheaton bells were purchased from the CCCBR by the Parish of Sandwich and delivered to the church. The fittings were subsequently overhauled at Whitechapel.
1990 The six Kirkheaton bells were bought by St Clement's church and hung in a the old Kirkheaton 6-bell frame. The ex-Kirkheaton frame was erected on a new foundation and the bells hung by the KCACR in March. The old Sandwich treble was hung stationary higher in the tower and the tubular bells disposed of. The bells were dedicated by the Bishop of Dover on 20th May in the presence of H.M. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (Warden of the Cinques Ports).
[1] "This Church consists of the Great, North and South Chancells. The Body, and 2 Side Isles. The Tower, which is adorned with Pillasters and round Arches, stands in the Middle of The Church, between the Chancell and the Body. In it hang 5 Bells, all made by John Hodson 1675. [sic, was 1672]" (Rev’d Bryan Faussett, 1760)
[2] There are five bells, not very tuneable, and consequently of little use, but to hasten the downfall of this venerable steeple in which they hang. They were cast in 1672. ('The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. Vol 9', Edward Hasted)
[3] ALLEGED VANDALISM.- In a letter to the Times "Campana" dating from "- Court, near Sandwich," writes: - "Allow me to ask, through your columns, what are the Rural Dean and Archdeacon about in these parts? Happening to visit to-day the ancient town of Sandwich, I went with a party of friends in the neighbourhood to see the church of St. Clement, which we found under repair. The central tower, a fine speciemtn of Norman work, is being restored, and about £600 has been collected, I understand towards the restoration of the fabric. As this sum is insufficient, the Vandals of the place called a vestry meeting yesterday, at which it was resolved to help on the work by selling or melting down for out of a peal of five bells which are scrcely to be matched in any parish church in Kent." "A Vandal who wants to sell the Bells" says that Mr. Clark, the diocesan architect, recommended the removal of the bells, in consequence of the dangerous state of the tower. The bells were accordingly removed, and the repairs commenced under Mr. Clarke's directions. The fund raised amounts now to about £690, of which about £500 has been expended, while much yet remains to be done; and the committee considering that the bells can be of no further use to the parish (as it is obvious that they cannot be re-hung in the teeth of the architect's opinion), are no, with the sanction of the vestry, taking the necessary steps to enable them to dispose of them, with the intention of applying the proceeds towards the restoration of the tower. The church of St. Peter, Sandwich, possess a really fine peal of eight bells, which, it is said, the five bells of St. Clement's never were. (South Eastern Gazette - Tues 04 Jul 1865)
[4] SANDWICH. The bells of St. Clement's Church, Sandwich, have been sold, we understand - though not till all other means of raising money had been tried - in order to obtain funds for restoring the central tower. We believe that some three years ago this step was in contemplation, but was prevented by a letter in the Times, On "Vandalism in Kent." which was followed up by an injunction from the late Archbishop of Canterbury. (Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Sat 29 Jan 1870)
[5] SANDWICH. THE BELLS OF ST. CLEMENT'S SANDWICH.- Writing with special reference to a paragraph in the Guardian of the 19th instant, to which we alluded in the Choir of last week, Mr. Thomas Walesby says:- "The sale of the bells of the church of St. Clement, Sandwich, four in number - one of the peal being retained and now in use - took place in 1865; and having myself examined them, I may add, that they were made no earlier than 1672, and had no inscriptions worth copying, while they were very defective in a musical point of view. In short, they were only fit for the melting-pot. The Committee having consulted Mr. Clarke, diocesan architect, a correspondent writing to the Times of June 30, 1865, stated the reason why the bells were removed from, and not subsequently replaced in, the fine old Norman tower." - The Choir (Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Saturday 05 February 1870)
[6] DEATH OF MR THOMAS DORMAN, J.P. - We regret to record the death of Mr. Thomas Dorman, J.P., which took place at the residence of the deceased gentleman, Newgate House, Sandwich, on Sunday evening about half-past seven o'clock, after a long and lingering illness. His life was spent almost wholly in Sandwich, and his name as a philanthropist had verily become a household word. Amongst the poor especially will his loss be mourned, his unfailing charity and unostentatious liberality being proverbial. Among the many benefactions bestowed by the late lamented Mr. Dorman was the handsome donation of £2,000 to the Sandwich Grammar School; he also provided a peal of tubular bells for St. Clement's Church, and contributed very largely towards the resotration of the Church, and likewise the chapel of St. Bartholomew's Hospital ... Deceased was in his 67th year. (Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Saturday 14 July 1894)
[7] DEATH OF MR THOMAS DORMAN, J.P. - We regret to record the death of Mr. Thomas Dorman, J.P., which took place at the residence of the deceased gentleman, Newgate House, Sandwich, on Sunday evening about half-past seven o'clock, after a long and lingering illness. His life was spent almost wholly in Sandwich, and his name as a philanthropist had verily become a household word. Amongst the poor especially will his loss be mourned, his unfailing charity and unostentatious liberality being proverbial. Among the many benefactions bestowed by the late lamented Mr. Dorman was the handsome donation of £2,000 to the Sandwich Grammar School; he also provided a peal of tubular bells for St. Clement's Church, and contributed very largely towards the resotration of the Church, and likewise the chapel of St. Bartholomew's Hospital ... Deceased was in his 67th year. (Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Sat 14 Jul 1894)

Articles

  • "Town of Silent Towers, Part 1", Cawley, David L (The Ringing World) 25 August 1967
  • "Sandwich - encouraging progress", Young, Phil R (The Ringing World) 23 March 1990
  • "Progress at Sandwich - part 2", Young, Phil R (The Ringing World) 18 May 1990
  • "A very hot Sandwich", Young, Phil R (The Ringing World) 3 August 1990
  • "Cinque Port provides Royal Welcome for a six", Young, Phil R (The Ringing World) 8 August 1990
  • Gallery



    Photo: Richard Offen, 2004
    Recent Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2006-01-215040 Surprise Minor (7m)
    2004-12-305040 Surprise Minor
    Recent Quarter Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2018-08-111260 Doubles (2m)
    2017-07-061274 Cambridge Surprise Minor
    2015-05-231260 Grandsire Doubles
    2012-07-191260 Grandsire and Plain Bob Doubles
    2012-06-031260 Plain Bob Doubles
    2012-05-121260 Grandsire Doubles
    2011-12-241272 St Clement's College Bob Minor
    2011-12-181260 Grandsire Doubles
    2011-10-221260 St Clements College Bob Minor
    2007-09-011260 St Clement's College Bob Minor
    2007-08-121296 Cambridge Surprise Minor
    Full list of peals on Bellboard here
    Full list of quarters on Bellboard here

    Elsewhere in the Parish

    Sandwich, St Bartholomew's Hospital
    Single bell


    Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 23 April 2020