Chilham, St Mary

Photo: Richard Offen 2005

  • 8 bells hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 16-2-21 in E.
  • Grid Ref: TR068536
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Frame: 1912 John Warner & Sons
  • 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)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® Treble 5-0-1928" E 1883 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Removed 1912 John Warner & Sons
® 2 6-0-1829" D♯ 1883 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Removed 1912 John Warner & Sons
® 3 6-3-531" C♯ 1883 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Removed 1912 John Warner & Sons
® 4 7¼ cwt approx.34" B 1810 Thomas Mears II Removed 1912 John Warner & Sons
® 5 8½ cwt approx.35½" A 1912 John Warner & Sons Flat Never
® 6 10¼ cwt approx.39½" G♯ 1760 Lester & Pack, Whitechapel Removed 1912 John Warner & Sons
® 7 13½ cwt approx.43" F♯ 1760 Lester & Pack, Whitechapel Removed 1912 John Warner & Sons
® Tenor 16-2-2146¼" E 1887 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Removed

®  - Hung for full circle ringing


How the bells are tuned

1760 Ring of Six

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Treble1760Lester & PackNeverRecast in 1883
2nd1760Lester & PackNeverRecast in 1810
3rd1760Lester & PackNeverRecast in 1912
4th10¼ cwt approx.39½"1760Lester & PackNeverStill in the tower
5th13½ cwt approx.43"1760Lester & PackNeverStill in the tower
Tenor17-2-047½"1760Lester & PackNeverStill in the tower

Earlier Ring of Six

Bell DateFounderRetunedFate
Treble1709Richard PhelpsNeverRecast 1760
2nd1594Robert MotNeverRecast 1760
3rd1595Robert MotNeverRecast 1760
4th1595Robert MotNeverRecast 1760
5th1616Joseph HatchNeverRecast 1760
Tenor1599Robert MotNeverRecast 1760

Tenor before 2018 replacement

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Tenor17-2-047½"E1760Lester & Pack1912 John Warner & SonsReplaced 2018


1534 Tower built.
1552 Record of 5 bells in the tower. [1]
1594 2nd recast by Robert Mot.
1595 3rd and 4th recast by Robert Mot.
1599 Tenor recast by Robert Mot.
1616 5th recast by Joseph Hatch.
1709 Treble recast or added by Richard Phelps (a ring of 6).
1759 Record of 6 bells in the tower. [2]
1760 The 6 bells were recast into another ring of 6 by Lester & Pack.
1798 Record of 6 bells in the tower. [3]
1810 2nd recast.
1883 Treble recast; 2 trebles added by John Taylor.
1899 Repairs effected.
1912 5th recast, bells turned and rehung by John Warner.
1930 1930s Bells rehung by Mears & Stainbank.
1996 Cracked tenor welded by Soundweld.
2013 Tenor found to be cracked again.
2018 The cracked tenor was replaced by a new bell from Church Okeford (the bells from this church were themselves replaced by those from Murston). The bell was acquired through the Keltek Trust and the hanging was done by Matthew Higby and the Kent County Association.
[1] Item in ye Stepull in there frames v bells and in the same Stepull on lytell bell. Item ij bells caulyd hand bells. (Edwardian Inventory, 1552)
[2] "The Inscriptions on ye Bells. 1. Richard Phelps made Me. 1709. The Gift of ye Revd. Mr John Nichols, Mr Robert Sprakeling, and Others. 2. Robertus Mot Me fecit. 1594. 3. Robertus Mot fecit Me. 1595. 4. Joseph Hatch made Me. 1616. 5. Robertus Mot Me fecit. 1595. This Bell is now Crack’d. 6. Robertus Mot Me fecit. 1599. Gabrielis." (Rev’d Bryan Faussett, 1759)
[3] The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, is a handsome building, consisting of a body and two isles, all covered with lead, and a high chancel, with two chaples, one of which is dedicated to St. Anne, on the south side; there was a chantry on the north side, now pulled down, with a transept, all covered with tile. It has a tower steeple at the west end, on one corner of which is a beacon turret, which till of late was covered with a small spire. There are six bells and a clock in it. The steeple was built about the year 1534, as appears by a legacy towards the building of it. ('The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. Vol 7', Edward Hasted)


The ringing room.
Photo: Dickon Love, 2013

Photo: Dickon Love, 2013

Photo: Dickon Love, 2013

Photo: Dickon Love, 2013

Photo: Dickon Love, 2013

Photo: Dickon Love, 2013

Photo: Dickon Love, 2013
Recent Peals
The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
2008-04-175088 Spliced Surprise Major (5m)
2006-01-015088 London Surprise Major
1970-02-285056 Plain Bob Major
1948-11-205056 Cambridge Surprise Major
1948-05-225024 Ashtead Surprise Major
Recent Quarter Peals
The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
2022-06-021260 Grandsire Triples
2022-01-101260 Doubles (1p/2m)
2021-12-061260 Plain Bob Doubles
2021-12-041250 Spliced Surprise Major (3m)
2021-11-291260 Doubles (5m)
2021-10-251260 Doubles (9m)
2021-10-111260 St Martin's Bob Doubles
2021-10-081260 Plain Bob Minor
2021-10-041260 Doubles (5m/1p)
2021-09-271260 Grandsire Doubles
2021-09-041250 Superlative Surprise Major
2019-12-131344 Plain Bob Major
2019-12-021260 Stedman Doubles
2019-11-181260 St Simon's Bob Doubles
2019-10-071260 Plain Bob Doubles
2019-09-301260 Doubles (6m)
2019-09-151260 Chilham Treble Place Doubles
2019-06-241260 Grandsire Doubles
2019-06-211260 Grandsire Triples
2019-06-101260 Plain Bob Triples
2019-06-031260 Doubles (1p/4m)
2019-05-131260 Grandsire Doubles
2018-09-221408 Spliced Surprise Major (6m)
2018-08-061280 Superlative Surprise Major
2018-05-161260 Grandsire 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 July 2018