Untitled Document

Burham, Old Church of St Mary

Photo: Richard C Offen, 2006

  • No bells (formerly ring of 3)
  • Grid Ref: TQ717620
  • Rung from: Ground Floor
  • Frame: Partly mediaeval, adapted 1632, 1821 and 1881.
  • Diocese: Rochester
  • Building Listed Grade: I. Click for Heritage details.

Prior to 1881

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Treble (of 3)3¾ cwt approx.25⅛"F1700Richard PhelpsNeverTransferred to New Church 1881, Preston 1983.
2nd (of 3)4¾ cwt approx.28⅞"E1734Richard PhelpsNeverTransferred to New Church 1881, Maidstone 1982.
Tenor (of 3)3½ cwt approx.25¼"E♭c.1300Richard de WimbisNeverTransferred to New Church 1881, Stolen 1982


c 1300 Bell cast by William Revel. It was presumably originally D, but had since been very heavily skirted to raise its note.
c 1450 In 15th Cent a 3 bell frame was constructed.
1632 The old bells were taken down, the frame was reconstructed for ringing the bells., there was some casting activity and the bells were rehung.
1700 Smallest bell recast by Richard Phelps.
1734 The church accounts include entries for the casting, carriage and handling of a new bell, cast by Richard Phelps. The middle bell was tuned by skirting.
1821 Further work was carried out on the frame.
1881 A new parish church was built on a different site. The old church ceased to be a Parish Church and was used as a mortuary chapel (until between the wars). The bells, frame and fittings were transferred to the New Church.
1956 -7 Church restored by the Friends of Friendless Churches.
1981 The 3 bells that were transferred to the new church were returned to the old church for storage. The church was declared redundant and vested in The Churches Conservation Trust.
1982 The 1734 bell was transferred to St Michael and All Angels, Maidstone as a clock bell. In the summer the ancient tenor bell was stolen while it was awaiting rehanging.
1983 The 1700 bell was transferred to St Mildred, Preston-next-Wingham as a treble to augment the 5 bells to 6.

The Bell Frame

The bell frame consisted of mediaeval sills, centre-posts and straight braces and was designed for three bells hanging side by side. It bore the following on its east head:

1632 : F T . R D . T V
E L  T . P  (carved crest) F K

The tenor pit had the following letters:


and other obliterated.

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