Lower Hardres

Lower Hardres, St Mary

Photo: Richard Offen, 2005

  • Single bell hung for full circle ringing but unringable
  • Tenor: 5 cwt approx.
  • Formerly ring of 3, now 1.
  • Grid Ref: TR152531
  • Rung from: Ground Floor
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Canterbury

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® 1 5 cwt approx.26" 1832 Thomas Mears II, Whitechapel

®  - Hung for full circle ringing


Prior to 1832

Bell DateFounderRetunedFate
Single bell1723Richard PhelpsNeverRecast 1832


1542 -3 3 bells were purchased from St Mary de Castro, Canterbury for £4. ("Receyved out of the parishioners of Nether Hardres for the cities part of the iij bells to them sold out of the Church of Saynt Mary Castell iiij li") [1]
1723 One of the bells was cast or recast by Richard Phelps.
1758 Record of 1 bell in the tower. [2]
1760 Faussett notes that only one bell remains.
1800 Record of 1 bell. [3]
1831 The old church was pulled down and the present church built with an octagonal spire.
1832 The bell was recast by Thomas Mears II and hung for full circle ringing in the new tower in a deal lowside frame. The new church was consecrated on 10 August. [4]
1887 Stahlschmidt noted that there were formerly 3 bells, of which the 1832 bell is the survivor.
1970 Bell inspected, discovered to have all full ringing fittings including a stay but no slide with the rope heavily drawn. The bell was in a deal lowside frame.
[1] The union of St. Mary Castle with St. Mildred took place the 19th of Sept. 1654. The desecration of its church was about 1542, as in the city accounts of that year the Corporation have credit for four pounds received of the parishioners of Nether Hardres, for the city’s part of three bells to them sold out of the church of St. Mary Castle. The church of St. Mary de Castro stood on the S. W. side of the chapel burial ground in Castle-Street, near to the back of the house of Mr Turner, as appears by part its old foundation, oftentimes met with in digging graves thereabouts. (Kentish Gazette (Friday 4 July 1800))
[2] "This Church, wch. is very small, consists of the Chancell, South Chancell, Great & South Isle. In the Steeple, which is a very small, low, wooden one, at ye W. End hangs 1 Small Bell, thus Inscribed: R.P. Fecit 1723. Mr Benjamin Foreman, Church Warden." (Rev’d Bryan Faussett, 1758)
[3] The church, which is dedicated to St. Mary, seems antient. It is but small and dark, consisting of two isles and two chancels, having a low pointed steeple at the west end, in which hangs only one bell. ('The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent. Vol 9', Edward Hasted)
[4] Friday the new Church at Lower Hardres was consecrated by the Archbishop of this diocese with the usual ceremony. (Morning Post - Thurs 16 Aug 1832)

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 9 May 2020