Snargate, St Dunstan

Photo: Richard Offen, Aug 2004

  • 3 bells hung for swing chiming with levers
  • Tenor: 8½ cwt approx. in A.
  • Formerly a ring of 3, since rehung for swing chiming
  • Grid Ref: TQ991287
  • Anticlockwise
  • Frame: Probably 1673; oak.
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Ashford
  • Building Listed Grade: II* Click for Heritage details.

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
҂ 1 5½ cwt approx.30⅛" Unknown Never
҂ 2 5¾ cwt approx.33" 1673 John & Christopher Hodson, Whitechapel Never
҂ 3 8½ cwt approx.35⅝" A 1325 William le Belyetere, Canterbury Never

҂  - Hung for swing chiming



c 1290 Treble cast by an unknown founder at the end of the 13th Cent. The lettering is fine. [1]
c 1325 Tenor cast in early to mid 14th Cent. The identify of the founder is unknown, but the shape of the bell resembles that of bells attributed to William le Belyetere of Canterbury. The lettering is rather less convincing and is particularly poor.
1552 Record of 3 bells in the tower. [3]
1673 Middle bell recast by John & Christopher Hodson.
1799 Record of 3 bells in the tower. [4]
1850 At about this time, new fittings were provided.
1958 Belfry overhaul and fittings repaired.
1970 The bells were last rung full circle in September of this year.
1971 2nd was welded by Soundweld. The bells, which were (just about) ringable were rehung for swing chiming with levers by Whitechapel.
[1] The Snargate treble bell is more of the shape of the much illustrated Enborne, Berks or Sarnesfield, Herefs, bells (see CB Herefs pp444ff); in other words we've passed from the archaic to the early medieval form. Sharpe, op cit pp449ff gives some pretty sound reasons for fairly precise dating bells of this shape, and his conclusions seem to be largely based on Elphick's work, which ought to be good enough for anyone. (Email to Bellhistorians List from David Cawley, Mar 2004)
[2] I [would assign the origin of Snargate tenor] to William le Belyetere of Canterbury; I did so largely on the grounds of shape, the lettering being quite different from that on W le B's other bells, and very rough. Indeed it is so rough that my great hero Stahlschmidt (CB Kent 1887) who I suspect never saw the bells, placed the tenor as the earliest bell on the grounds of lettering. That on the earlier treble is fine, and that on the tenor rough. [Ranald] Clouston came down with Richard [Offen] and me to see these bells and agreed on the dating, although he was reluctant specifically to assign the tenor to W le Belyetere. (Email to Bellhistorians List from David Cawley, Mar 2004)
[3] Item in the steple iij bells and in the churche one worning bell one hand bell and one sacryng bell. (Edwardian Inventory, 1552)
[4] The church, which is dedicated to St. Dunstan, is built of quarry-stone. It is a large handsome building, consisting of three isles and two chancels, having a tower at the west end, in which are three bells. ('The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. Vol 8', Edward Hasted)


The tenor bell.
Photo: David Cawley, 1969

The treble bell. Pictures 1969.
Photo: David Cawley, 1969

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 4 April 2020