Ash next Sandwich

Ash next Sandwich, St Nicholas

Photo: Dickon Love, April 2007

  • 10 bells hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 21-3-0 in E♭.
  • Grid Ref: TR287584
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Frame: 1978 John Taylor & Co., made of cast iron and steel
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Canterbury
  • 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)

(As received in 1926)

(As supplied 1927)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® Treble 5-1-1627" G 1978 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat Never
® 2 5-2-1828½" F 1978 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat Never
® 3 6-0-206-2-530⅞" E♭ 1790 Thomas Mears I, Whitechapel Removed Mears & Stainbank 1927, John Taylor 1978
® 4 6-1-176-3-2132" D 1790 Thomas Mears I, Whitechapel Removed Mears & Stainbank 1927, John Taylor 1978
® 5 7-0-187-1-1634" C 1790 Thomas Mears I, Whitechapel Removed Mears & Stainbank 1927, John Taylor 1978
® 6 8-1-248-3-1936" B♭ 1790 Thomas Mears I, Whitechapel Removed Mears & Stainbank 1927, John Taylor 1978
® 7 10-1-210-1-1939¼" A♭ 1927 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Flat John Taylor 1978
® 8 11-1-1112-0-741" G 1790 Thomas Mears I, Whitechapel Removed Mears & Stainbank 1927, John Taylor 1978
® 9 15-1-1716-0-2645" F 1790 Thomas Mears I, Whitechapel Removed Mears & Stainbank 1927, John Taylor 1978
® Tenor 21-3-021-1-1850¾" E♭ 1927 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Flat John Taylor 1978

®  - Hung for full circle ringing


Frame Bells Year Maker Material Truss(es) Local
1 All bells 1978 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough


Prior to 1927

Bell Weight
(most recent)

(As received in 1926)
510-1-610-1-1939½"1790Thomas Mears INeverPre-retuned weight is the cast weight.
821-1-921-1-1850¾"1790Thomas Mears INeverPre-retuned weight is the cast weight. Only Maiden bell of the ring.

Original ring of 5

Bell DateFounderRetunedFate
Treble1581Robert MotNeverRecast, 1778
21615Joseph HatchNeverRecast, 1778
31620Joseph HatchNeverRecast, 1778
41620Joseph HatchNeverRecast, 1778
Tenor1641Henry WilnarNeverRecast, 1778

The 1778 Ring of 8

Bell DateFounderRetunedFate
Treble1778Thomas SwainNeverRecast 1790
21778Thomas SwainNeverRecast 1790
31778Thomas SwainNeverRecast 1790
41778Thomas SwainNeverRecast 1790
51778Thomas SwainNeverRecast 1790
61778Thomas SwainNeverRecast 1790
71778Thomas SwainNeverRecast 1790
Tenor1778Thomas SwainNeverRecast 1790


1581 Treble recast, probably by Robert Mot.
1615 2nd of ring of 5 recast by Joseph Hatch.
1620 3rd and 4th of 5 recast by Joseph Hatch.
1641 Tenor of 5 recast by Henry Wilnar.
1760 Record of 5 bells in the tower. [1]
1778 A new ring of 8 bells was cast by Thomas Swain of Longford, Middx, and hung by William Jones of Margate in a new timber frame by local wheelwright Edwin Blake. The frame was built and while there are no records in the church archives of the bells ever being cast, the Kentish Gazette reported that the new ring was opened on 21 December by ringers from Dover. [2]
1790 The Thomas Swain octave were clearly not giving "universal satisfaction" as they were recast by Thomas Mears. The new ring was opened by the Canterbury Ringers on Mon 19 Jul. [3]
1904 Bell recast at Christ Church, Dover.
1927 Frame strengthened; 5th and tenor recast. All the bells were retuned.
1977 December The bell from Christ Church, Dover was removed and stored at St Nicholas, Dover until required for Ash.
1978 Bells rehung in new frame and augmented with 2 bells by John Taylor & Co. The treble was recast from the metal from the bell from Christ Church, Dover.
1996 Tower found to be cracked: ringing curtailed for a couple of years while works were put in place to strengthen it.
[1] "This Church consists of The Great, and North, Chancells, The Body, and 2 Side Isles. The Tower, which is cap’t with a Spire, stands between the Great Chancell and the Body. In it hang 5 Bells, thus inscribed. 1. .../ 1581. 2. Joseph Hatch made Me. 1615. 3. Joseph Hatch made Me. 1620. 4. Joseph Hatch made Me. 1620. 5. Henry Wilner made Me. 1641." (Rev’d Bryan Faussett, 1760)
[2] Local historian David Cave wrote a booklet on the bells when they were rehung and augmented to 10 in 1978. At the time Cave could find no evidence for the new ring of 8 actually being delivered. In his booklet, he nonetheless made a good case for Thomas Swain recasting the old 5 into 8 in 1779 (it was in fact 1778). The cost alone (£256.6.10) would have been about right for a new ring and framework; in fact the cost of the recasting by Mears in 1790 was only £161.1.9 which, presumably, would have been for bells only (and maybe a few fitttings). There are some similarities to Cranbrook where the old tenor in 6 was recast into 3 trebles and put in a new frame by Mears in 1782, but the result was so unsatisfactory that the bells were replaced within 20 years. Perhaps something like this happened at Ash also? David Cave reports that Mears claimed he used the old bells by Mot, Hatch & Wilnar, but the source for this assertion has not been found; it unlikely that Mears would have detailed it in this way although he might have mentioned the number of old bells traded in. The mystery was settled by the discovery of the Kentish Gazette notice: "We hear from Ash, that last Monday was opened at that place, by the gentlemen ringers of Dover, a new musical peal eight bells, Cast by Mr. Swain, of Longford, in Middlesex, and hung by Mr. William Jones, of Margate, which gave universal satisfaction." (Kentish Gazette, Sat 26 Dec 1778)
[3] RINGING On Monday next, the 19th of July, A NEW PEAL of EIGHT BELLS will be opened at ASH next SANDWICH, at Ten o’Clock in the Forenoon, by the Canterbury Ringers. *** An Ordinary at the Ship Inn at Two o’Clock. (Kentish Gazette, Fri 9 July 1790)


  • "St Nicholas, Ash-next-Sandwich, Kent", Cave, J D H (The Ringing World) 22 July 1977
  • Recent Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2014-08-255080 Silverstone Surprise Royal
    2008-10-045000 Bristol Surprise Royal
    2007-03-105040 Cambridge Surprise Royal
    2004-05-315040 Cambridge Surprise Royal
    1993-11-205040 Cambridge Surprise Royal
    1988-10-085040 Oakham Surprise Royal
    1987-01-315040 Faversham Surprise Royal
    1985-09-075039 Grandsire Caters
    1983-09-245040 Yorkshire Surprise Royal
    1982-12-285040 Grandsire Triples
    1979-12-165040 Yorkshire Surprise Royal
    1979-06-025005 Stedman Caters
    1979-01-065039 Grandsire Caters
    1976-03-205056 Milford Surprise Major
    1973-12-155152 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    1968-04-275056 Bristol Surprise Major
    1967-02-045040 Grandsire Triples
    1966-02-045040 Grandsire Triples
    1950-12-165040 Grandsire Triples
    1950-01-145040 Grandsire Triples
    1949-05-215056 Painswick Surprise Major
    1935-08-055088 Kent Treble Bob Major
    1934-05-215056 Cambridge Surprise Major
    1928-05-285088 Kent Treble Bob Major
    1927-11-195024 Double Norwich Court Bob Major
    Recent Quarter Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2023-09-021260 Spliced Minor (3m)
    2022-06-191320 Kent Treble Bob Royal
    2022-06-041260 Plain Bob Doubles
    2022-02-141320 Newborough Doubles
    2022-02-051260 Plain Bob Minor
    2022-02-011260 Grandsire Triples
    2021-12-181376 Superlative Surprise Major
    2021-10-021259 Grandsire Caters
    2019-12-051287 Stedman Caters
    2019-08-101259 Grandsire Caters
    2019-03-161282 Cambridge Surprise Royal
    2019-02-231260 Plain Bob Doubles
    2018-02-161260 Plain Bob Minor
    2017-07-061296 Stedman Caters
    2016-06-121260 Plain Bob Minor
    2016-02-131260 Grandsire Caters
    2016-02-131280 Lincolnshire Surprise Major
    2014-08-171260 Grandsire Doubles
    2012-04-101259 Grandsire Caters
    2011-12-031260 Grandsire Caters
    2007-05-311259 Grandsire Caters
    1983-11-201260 Plain Bob Triples
    1982-07-031360 Oxford Treble Bob Royal
    1977-08-091260 Grandsire Triples
    1977-06-071260 Plain Bob Doubles
    Full list of peals on Bellboard here
    Full list of quarters on Bellboard here

    Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 29 May 2023