Canterbury, St Mary Magdalene

Photo: Dickon R Love, 11 Sept 2020

  • Tower only remaining, formerly 3 bells, tenor 6¼ cwt approx
  • Formerly ring of 3, 6¼ cwt approx. Transferred to Canterbury (St George the Martyr), Madagascar.
  • Grid Ref: TR151578
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Canterbury

Prior to 1871

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Treble (of 3)4½ cwt approx.28½"1616Joseph HatchNeverTransferred to St George 1871, destroyed 1942
2nd (of 3)5½ cwt approx.30½"c.1450John SturdyNeverTransferred to Madagascar
Tenor (of 3)6¼ cwt approx.32"c.1420Richard HillNeverTransferred to Madagascar


c 1420 Bell cast by Richard Hille.
c 1450 Bell cast by John Sturdy.
1503 The present tower was rebuilt. It is probably that the bells were rehung in the present frame at that time. They swung side by side and were roped "opposed", being rung from the first floor.
1616 The treble was recast by Joseph Hatch.
1824 Whilst the Sexton was tolling the bell for the death of a child, the clapped fell out through the louvres and on to the street. It grazed the shoulder of a man on the street, although with no further injury. [1]
1866 Church closed.
1871 Church pulled down with only the tower remaining. The bell frame is still in situ. The bells were sold: treble to St George and 2 &3 to the Bishop of Madagascar (in whose diocese they now ring). The parish merged with that of St George.
1942 On 1 Jun, the old treble was destroyed along with the church of St George the Martyr during an air raid.
[1] On Tuesday, while the sexton was tolling the bell, at Burgate church, in this city, for the death of a child, the clapper of the bell fell suddenly from its situation, and forced its way through window into the street, and grazed the shoulder of a man passing by; fortunately, it did him no injury, the weight was nearly 40lbs. (Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal, Fri 16 Jul 1824)


The church as it appeared in 1866, the year it was closed.
Photo: David Cawley collection

The church was pulled down in 1871 leaving only the tower. The Roman Catholic Church of St Thomas was built behind it. This picture was taken 100 years later in 1971.
Photo: David Cawley collection

Frame drawings by David Cawley. This is the elevation, East and West Ends and below are the North and South Ends and interpieces N.B. Brace a b left out in South End.
Photo: David Cawley, 1965

Plan of the tower. North is upwards.
Photo: David Cawley, 1965

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 25 September 2020