Eastwell, St Mary

Photo: David Cawley, 2002

  • Formerly a ring of 6 bells, tenor 11-2-18, church in ruins
  • Formerly ring of 6, tenor 11-2-18. Scrapped.
  • Grid Ref: TR009473
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Maidstone

Prior to being scrapped in 1952

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Treble (of 6)5-0-629"1842Thomas Mears IINeverScrapped 1952
2nd (of 6)5-2-1731"1842Thomas Mears IINeverScrapped 1952
3rd (of 6)7-0-2033"1842Thomas Mears IINeverScrapped 1952
4th (of 6)7-1-2335"1842Thomas Mears IINeverScrapped 1952
5th (of 6)9-2-738"1842Thomas Mears IINeverScrapped 1952
Tenor (of 6)11-2-1843"1912Mears & StainbankNeverScrapped 1952

Prior to 1912

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Tenor (of 6)12-2-2642"1794Thomas Mears INeverRecast 1912

Original ring of Three

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Treble (of 3)3½ cwt approx.c.26"1605Joseph HatchNeverRecast 1794
2nd (of 3)4 cwt approx.c.28"Pre-reformationUnknownNeverRecast 1794
Tenor (of 3)6 cwt approx.c.32"1635Joseph HatchNeverRecast 1794


1500 The earliest mention of bells is in the Will of Stephen Hawker of Challock. He pledged £5 "To buying a Great Bell for Eastwell".
1552 Record of 3 bells and a little sanctus bell.
1605 Treble (of 3) recast by Joseph Hatch.
1635 Tenor (of 3) recast by Joseph Hatch.
1757 Record of 3 bells in the tower. [1]
1794 Bells recast into a single bell by Thomas Mears.
1842 In April, Thomas Mears II submitted 2 estimates: £239.1s.4d - augment the existing bell with 4 bells to make 5; £257.2s.8d (less £59.17s.0d. Part exchange) for a new ring of 5 bells, tenor 9 cwt. Neither were taken up. In August the Earl of Winchelsea invoiced for "five new bells to suit the existing complete with frame and fittings" for £295.8s.2d.), i.e. 5 new bells were added to the existing bell to augment them to 6.
c 1848 The frame and hanging were clearly poor. The Canterbury Cathedral Company visited and found the bells quite unmanageable.
1912 Tenor recast and bells rehung in a new iron frame by Mears & Stainbank. The work was completed by Easter.
1950 22nd July Last peal in the tower.
1951 14th Feb The arcade between the nave and aisle collapsed and the roof fell in leaving the tower, porch and chancel intact and the body of the church roofless. (Subsequently the walls were demolished leaving only the tower, west wall and porch intact.)
1952 Jan Bells removed and sold to Gillett & Johnston for scrap. They were reckoned to be one of the best sixes in Kent.
1974 11th Jun Church declared redundant.
1979 The ruined church was vested in the Friends of Friendless Churches who have gradually restored what stands.
[1] It has a good Tower at the East End (sic for West), in which hang 3 Bells, thus inscribed: 1. Joseph hatch fecit Me. 1605. 2. Sancta Maria ora pro Nobis. 3. Josephus hatch fecit Me. 1653. (Rev’d Bryan Faussett, 1757)


Photo: David Cawley collection

A view up the tower where the 6 new and 6 former rope holes may be seen.
Photo: David Cawley, 23 Nov 2002

Photo: David Cawley collection

The tower and west wall from the North. Between them is the rubble of the pillar which collapsed on 14th Feb, 1952, bringing down the roof.
Photo: David Cawley, 23 Nov 2002

The tower arch as at 23rd Nov. 2002. The brick wall which blocked the arch has been removed and the remains of the ringing gallery are shortly to be removed. (The carved front went to Molash in 1953.) The tower will be enclosed within a wrought iron grill
Photo: David Cawley, 23 Nov 2002

A plaque recording the rehanging of the bells in 1912.
Photo: David Cawley, 23 Nov 2002

Photo: David Cawley collection

Photo: David Cawley collection

Photo: David Cawley collection

The church in c.1900.
Photo: David Cawley collection

The church in c.1947.
Photo: David Cawley collection

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 1 July 2020