Canterbury, St Mary Northgate

Photo: Dickon R Love, 11 Sept 2020

  • Formerly ring of 4, tenor 7½ cwt approx.
  • Formerly ring of 4, tenor 7½ cwt approx. Transferred to Namibia.
  • Grid Ref: TR151582
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Canterbury

Prior to 1922

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Treble4¼ cwt approx.26"1623Joseph HatchNeverWent to Namibia.
2nd4¾ cwt approx.28½"1616Joseph HatchNeverWent to Namibia.
3rd5½ cwt appprox.31"1623Joseph HatchNeverWent to Namibia.
Tenor7½ cwt approx.34.5"1813Thomas Mears IINeverWent to Namibia.

Prior to 1813

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Tenor7½ cwt approx.1623Joseph HatchNeverRecast 1813


1552 Record of 3 bells in the tower.
1616 One bell recast by Joseph Hatch.
1623 The remaining bells were recast by Joseph Hatch who also added a 4th bell.
1792 Bells described as being in poor condition with only the tenor hung and the second reported broken (the latter almost certainly inaccurate as Stahlschmidt testifies otherwise in 1887).
1813 Tenor recast by Thomas Mears.
1832 The church originally stood over the Northgate. In this year, the gate was demolished excepting for the tower and north wall and rebuilt in a "Meagre, wharehouse style". The church was consecrated again 15 Aug. [1]
1922 Church closed. The bells were advertised in the Daily Mirror and sold to the new Diocesan Cathedral of Damaraland, Namibia. The tenor went to the cathedral, Windhoek, the 2nd to St Paul the Traveller, Usakos & a 1623 bell to St Matthew, Walvis Bay.
1959 Church restored as the St Gregory's church hall. The former ringing room (which has ropes holes) acted as the Chapel of St Mary in the Tower where Communion was celebrated weekly. At this time, most of the old frame was still in situ.
1969 The location of 3 bells was established as: tenor: the cathedral, Windhoek, 2nd: St Paul the Traveller, Usakos, a 1623 bell: St Matthew, Walvis Bay. The location of the other 1623 bell is unknown. Each hangs in an old iron structure outside the church.
1970 1st Dec Church declared redundant.
1971 25th Jun Declaration of redundancy scheme.
1985 Church sold to the King's School as a music centre where an observatory in the top of the tower and the louvres were glazed & bricked.
[1] Yesterday his Grace consecrated the church of St Mary Northgate. (Morning Post - Thurs 16 Aug 1832)


These plans were noted by Rev'd Daviid Cawley in February, 1969. They show the plan of the frame, part of which had been dismantled as indicated. It also shows up a curious rope circle that could either be described as irregular or anticlockwise.
Photo: David Cawley, Feb 1969

The former tower shaded here was a bastion of the city wall. David notes that access to the tower was through the hall (formerly the church) to a ladder leading through the tower at ringing room level.
Photo: David Cawley, Feb 1969

This photo was taken in 1969 and is looking into the tenor pit where the runner board can be seen to be still in situ.
Photo: David Cawley, Feb 1969

Old photograph of the building.
Photo: David Cawley collection

The church in 2020.
Photo: Dickon R Love, 11 Sept 2020

Elsewhere in the Parish

Canterbury, St John's Hospital
Single bell hung for swing chiming

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