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Strood
 

Strood, St Nicholas


Photo: Dickon Love

  • 10 tubular bells
  • Tenor: 8½ cwt approx. in .
  • Grid Ref: TQ736693
  • Rung from: Don't know / not applicable
  • Diocese: Rochester
  • Building Listed Grade: II. Click for Heritage details.

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned

Prior to 1898

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Treble (of 3)5 cwt approx.30"1765UnknownNeverCrashed 1898.
2nd (of 3)6 cwt approx.32"1788"Old" John WarnerNeverCrashed 1898.
Tenor (of 3)8½ cwt approx.36"1788"Old" John WarnerNeverCrashed 1898.

Prior to 1800

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
?UnknownNeverSold 1818 or 1851
?UnknownNeverSold 1818 or 1851
?UnknownNeverSold 1818 or 1851

History

1552 Record of 4 bells and a sanctus in the tower.
1765 The bells had been augmented to 5 at some stage, and in this year a new bell was added to make 6.
1788 2 bells (conjectured to be the 2nd and 3rd of 6) were recast by "Old" John Warner.
1797 Record of 6 bells in the tower. [1]
1818 The church and top of the tower were rebuilt.
1846 Some parts of the church clock went missing, stolen it seems by a workman of the millwright and horologist John Stedman. A new clock was therefore bought from the sale of 3 of the cracked bells. The bells were sold in 1850.
1887 A gentleman offered to put a new ring of bells in the tower. This generous offer was rejected by the Trustees.
1898 The tower was gutted by fire, the bells crashed and broke and later sold. A new clock was purchased and 10 tubular bells were installed, made by Harrington, Latham & Co.
2013 It was announced that the church was to receive a new ring of 8 bells based on the 5 redundant bells from All Saints, Murston, to be installed by Easter 2014. This project never happened and the Murston bells eventually left the county. [2]
[1] The church of Stroud is dedicated to St. Nicholas. It was formerly a chapel to the parish church of Frindsbury. It is a spacious building, consisting of a nave and two isles, and the great chancel, with a tower steeple at the west end, in which is a cloc ('The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. Vol 5', Edward Hasted)
[2] After 115 years St Nicholas Strood are to have a ring of eight bells to replace the set of ten tubes that replaced the three old bells left from the ring of six which were destroyed in a disastrous fire in 1898. On 30 April 2013 the tower was overrun by a group of people to check the tower for a 10½cwt ring of eight. These people were Rev Adrian Demster (structural engineer specialising in church bells and towers), Rev David Cawley (KCACR committee member), Doug Snoswell (KCACR PRO and Chairman Bell St Nicholas Strood Bells Appeal), and Elaine Ford and Ken Reynolds (churchwardens). After Adrian had spent about an hour photographing the tower from all angles followed by a further two hours climbing over the inside of the tower, the long awaited verdict was that the tower was perfectly strong enough; even the cracks around the windows were expansion cracks and nothing to worry about. When the bells are put in the only structural alteration that will be needed is a concrete ring beam at the new belfry level, trapdoors to the new belfry and an extra trapdoor to the old belfry for sound control purposes. According to Stahlschmidt there were three bells left in 1887, the other three (being cracked) having been sold about 50 years previously, “the proceeds being mainly appropriated to the purchase of a new clock”. The treble of the three didn’t have any founder’s details, but the other two were cast by Warner’s in 1788, the first year of the firm’s existence. There was an interesting snippet in Lloyds Weekly Newspaper of 18 December 1898, reading as follows: Yesterday, in the church of St. Nicholas, at Strood, near Rochester, preparations were being made for a marriage to take place in the church, when suddenly flames were observed issuing from the western tower, the only part remaining of the original structure built nearly 800 years ago. Although the fire brigade were very smart in getting to work, the fire completely gutted the tower, leaving only the walls standing. The Portland stone turret was destroyed, together with the clock and bells. Despite this unforeseen disaster, the bridal party arrived on the scene before the firemen had quitted it, and the nuptial knot was tied while the ruins were still smouldering. After 114 years St Nicholas Strood are to have a ring of eight bells to replace the set of ten tubes that replaced the three old bells left from the ring of six which were destroyed in a disastrous fire in 1898. The five bells that are at present at Murston will form part of the ring with three new bells. It is hoped that they will be installed and ringing by Easter 2014. (KCACR Website report by Douglas Snoswell, 23 May 2013)


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