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Whitfield
 

Whitfield, St Peter


Photo: Nick Smith (Creative Commons License)

  • Single bell hung for swing chiming with a lever
  • Tenor: 1½ cwt approx.
  • Grid Ref: TR310458
  • One of the four oldest bells in Kent
  • Rung from: Ground floor
  • Frame: Pair of wooden Victorian beams
  • 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 1½ cwt approx.18⅛" Late 12th Cent. Unknown Never

҂  - Hung for swing chiming

History

c. 1175 A small bell was cast for the church in the latter part of the 12th century. Together with the pair of bells at Iwade and the bell at Coldred, these four bells are the oldest in Kent.
1887 J C L Stahlschmidt noted the bell as blank.
1894 The present turret was built, and the bell was hung with a small unorthodox wheel.
1968 The bell was visited by David Cawley and Ranald Clouston. "The Bell is hanging precariously from a square timber headstock with driven in gudgeons, plain bearings and an unorthodox wheel. One of the remaining canons is cracked and the single U-strap supporting the bell is very corroded. Access precarious - requires a ladder 25 ft long to reach hatch cover in ceiling at W. end of nave. Timber enclosed belfry. Shin up timberwork through another hatchway c6 ft above to minute belfry 4 ft square." Not for the faint hearted, and only one can do it at a time! As far as the bell was concerned, they described it thus:"No inscription. Moulding wires: 0 : 2-0 : 2-0. 3 canons (1 pair of doubles, l single missing). Lip to shoulder (TPH) 15¼"; Internal height (PH) 17"; Shoulder Circumference 32"; Thickness at soundbow 1¹³⁄₁₆". Lip: absolutely flat, 1⅞" thick. Unusually, no cast-in crown staple: a false one has always been fitted through two holes in the crown. Surviving canons of round section, 5⅝" high; the argent is 7 inches high."
1971 The bell was rehung by the Whitechapel Foundry, with specially designed steel fittings for swing chiming by lever. It was not weighed.
[1] This Church is very small and irregular, consisting of a Sort of Chancell, the Body, and 2 small Isles. It has no Steeple; but, in the North West Corner, hangs one small Bell. (Rev’d Bryan Faussett, 1759)

Articles

  • "Ancient Kent bell under restoration", Cawley, David L (The Ringing World) 4 November 1983


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