Plumstead, St Margaret

Photo: David Cawley collection

  • Church demolished, formerly single bell, 3 cwt approx and tubular bells
  • Formerly single bell, 3½ cwt approx transferred to St Alban's Plumstead and 8 tubular bells transferred to St Mark & St Margaret's, Plumstead.
  • Grid Ref: TQ443780
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Southwark

Earlier Tubular Bells

Bell Date Founder Fate
1 All Saints1903 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry 1976 Transferred to St Mark & St Margaret
2 Isaiah1903 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry 1976 Transferred to St Mark & St Margaret
3 St Mary1903 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry 1976 Transferred to St Mark & St Margaret
4 St Michael1903 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry 1976 Transferred to St Mark & St Margaret
5 St George1903 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry 1976 Transferred to St Mark & St Margaret
6 St Nicholas1903 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry 1976 Transferred to St Mark & St Margaret
7 St Margaret1902 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry 1976 Transferred to St Mark & St Margaret
8 St Andrew1902 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry 1976 Transferred to St Mark & St Margaret

Prior to 1903

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Single bell3½ cwt approx25¼"c.1859Mears & Co.NeverBell undated. Estimate given. Sold to St Alban's Plumstead 1903.


1859 Church rebuilt from an ancient parish church. A single bell was cast about this time by George Mears & Co. The church was consecrated on 25 April 1859, the inscription stone having been laid by the Bishop of London the previous December. The tower was 68 feet high and was due to be topped with a spire of 70 feet, although this was never built. The vane that was due to sit on top of the spire was instead fixed to iron framework on the tower roof.
1864 The status as Parish Church for Plumstead moved from St Nicholas to St Margaret.
1887 Stahlschmidt recorded one Mears bell in the tower (he gave no date).
1899 The church was enlarged and reconsecrated on 19 October. [1]
1902 There was a vestry resolution on 29 Dec to place new tubular bells in the tower and to apply for a faculty. 2 (of a future chime of 8) were paid for from parish funds.
1903 The 2 tubular bells were dedicated on 17 Jan. An appeal was placed in the Woolwich Gazette for sponsors of the remaining 6 tubular bells to enable the full set to be rung in time for Easter that year. Donors soon came forward, and the new bells were dedicated by the Bishop of Rochester on 11 Apr. Straight after the service the party then processed across the parish for the Consecration of the new St Alban's Mission Church. St Margaret's sold its existing single bell to St Alban's for £15.The parish records (24 Apr) contain a Copy citation for the removal of the old bell and placing of new tubular bells (number not stated). [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
1966 Following the decision to demolish the church, a faculty was sought to transfer many of the fittings, including the bells, to the church of St Mark's Plumstead. It is not known if they were put in the tower or just stored, but the towers at St Mark's were rather small. [8]
1974 Church demolished as the level of spend on repair could not be justified.
1976 A new church dedicated to St Mark & St Margaret was built. The tubular bells from St Margaret's were installed in the new squat tower.
[1] THE PARISH CHURCH PLUMSTEAD. Today marks an epoch in the Ecclesiastical History of Plumstead, for this afternoon is to see the ceremonial beginning of an important englargements of the parish church and the laying of a foundation stone by Plumstead's late Vicar, the Rev. A. V. Baillie ... The church of St. Margaret was consecrated on April 25th, 1859, the inscription stone having been laid by the Bishop of London in the December previous. It consisted of a nave and aisles, with an apex at the eastern end where the chancel is now to be erected. At that time there were no houses therabout, and the clergy robed for the ceremony in the vicarage and walked through its ample grounds to the church. The tower as we now see it is 68 feet high; it was to have been surmounted by a spire of 70 feet, but this was never erected. The vane which should have topped the spire is now fixed a little ingloriously in an iron frame work on the tower roof. (Kentish Independent - Sat 04 Feb 1899)
[2] BELLS FOR ST. MARGARET'S. PLUMSTEAD. Sir. - On Sunday last the first two of a peal of eight tubular bells, proposed be erected in the tower of the Church of St. Margaret, were dedicated. These the Churchwardens have made themselves responsible for, but where are the other six to come from? The cost of the eight bells, including the framework and fixing will be £16O. distributed thus:- Tenor C and D. including framework for the whole peal, £55. E £20. F £19. G £18. A. £17, B £16. C £15; total £16O. Now who will give a bell? or who will undertake to collect a sum to pay for one that the whole peal may be fixed and rung on Easter Morning. Those who give or collect will allowed to name their bell. The two already placed to be named St. Andrew and St. Margaret, the patron Saints of the Diocese and parish. I must not ask others what I will not help to do myself, so will give a bell to be named St. George, the patron Saint of my beloved country. Yours faithfully, George Kelham. Riverston. Wrottesley road, Woolwich. (Woolwich Gazette - Fri 23 Jan 1903)
[3] BELLS FOR ST. MARGARETS’[sic] PLUMSTEAD. Sir - You will be glad to hear that in response to my letter you so kindly inserted, the peal of bells for St. Margaret’s church is now promised. Col. Sir Edwin Hughes, the churchwardens, Charles Beasley Esqr., Mr. Aldermon Turton and myself each give one. Four ladies have undertaken collect for a St. Mary bell from the women workers and the Marys of the pariah, the Sidesmen and friends being answerable for another whilst the choir are giving the bell of their own note G. Will all whose names are Mary kindly send a donation to one or other of the following ladies - Miss Bell, Riverston, Wrottesly road; Miss Cruickshank, Fernliehg, Herbert road; Miss Forrester, The Cottage, Hanover road; Mrs. Holmes, Oakland House, Eglinton road. Yours truly, George Kelham. Riverston, Wrottesley road, Feb. 18th. 1903. (Woolwich Gazette - Fri 20 Feb 1903)
[4] DEDICATION OF NEW CHURCH AND BELLS AT PLUMSTEAD The Bishop of Rochester will dedicate the new peal of bells at St. Margaret's, Plumstead at 4.30 tomorrow (Saturday). Immediately after this service, the new mission church in Admaston road, Plumstead. known as "St. Alban's." will be dedicated by the Bishop at a special service. (Woolwich Gazette - Fri 10 Apr 1903)
[5] ST. MARGARETS, PLUMSTEAD. The Easter Vestry was held on Tuesday evening the Vicar (Rev. H. T. Ogle) presiding. Amongst those present were the churchwardens (Messrs. Harper and Bearfoot), Messrs. Kelham W. H. Turton, Green. Dobbins, Moors. Tufnell. Bristow and others. Prior to the meeting three applicants for the position hell ringer rang test peals and afterwards Mr. Worsey was appointed to the office at a salary of £5 a year, with 10s. for special services. Alderman Harper and Bearfoot were re appointed churchwardens. The accounts showed that the offertories had realized £376 the largest sum ever recorded. It was also reported that the new peal of bells had been paid for. Mr. Edward Near was chosen Vestry clerk in succession to Mr. R. J. Jackson, who resigned. (Woolwich Gazette - Fri 17 Apr 1903)
[6] DEDICATION OF BELLS AND MISSION CHURCH AT PLUMSTEAD, The Easter of 1903 will be memorable in the annals of St. Margaret’s parish church, Plumstead, inasmuch as two important events took place on Saturday last—Easter eve—the dedication of the new peal of bells in the tower of St. Margaret's Church, and of the new Mission Church in Admaston road, to be designated in future the Mission Church of St. Alban’s, Plumstead. THE NEW BELLS. When the new mission church referred to was approaching completion, the question arose as to the provision of a suitable bell. It has been a long-standing ambition to have peal in the parish church of St. Margaret's, and at vestry meeting in December last, was decided to sell the old bell to the mission church for £15 and commence a peal of tubular bells by ordering two, at a cost of £55, to be paid for out of the church funds, in the hope that friends might be disposed to present the other six. Ald. Kelham, a generous supporter of Church work in the district generally, and of St. Margaret's in particular, took this matter in hand, and expressed the somewhat daring (as it was then considered) hope that the new peal of bells might be ready for dedication at Easter. Mr. Kelham set the example by offering a bell, the Churchwardens. Messrs, Harper and Bearfoot, gave another, another was subscribed by the ladies of the name of Mary in the parish, and others promised by Sir E. Hughes, the late Ald. Turton, Mr. C. Beasley, the choir and the sidesmen and friends. The result is that the new peal is now constituted of 8 bells given by and dedicated to the following:-C, "St. Andrew," Sir E. Hughes; D, "St. Margaret," Messrs. Harper and Bearfoot; E, "St. Nicholas," Mr. Beasley; F, "St. George," Ald. Kelham: G. "St. Michael," the choir; A, "St. Mary," the ladies; B, "Isaiah," the late Ald. Turton; C, "All Saints," sidesmen and men of St. Margaret’s. The bells are what are known as Harrison’s tubular bells, the total cost has been £16O. and Ald. Kelham, Ald. Harper, and those who have been associated in the work of obtaining them, express themselves as thoroughly satisfied with the results achieved. The proceedings commenced on Saturday with a special service at St. Margaret's, at which the baptistry and the new bells were dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Southwark. The baptistry had been exquisitely decorated with choice flowers, thanks to the generosity of Ald. Kelham. The service, which was attended by a large congregation, commenced with the processional hymn, "We love the place of God," the clergy present, in addition to the Bishop of Southwark, being, Canon Leeke (St. Mark’s). Revs. H. L, Ogle, F. C. Cowen, E. R. Ward (St. Margaret's), Stilon Henning (St. James'), C. Haldon, of St. Andrew's, Streatham (who is to succeed the Rev. H. R. Sugden as one the assistant clergy of St. Margaret’s), G. N. Leale and J. B. Tatham. The procession was headed by the churchwardens. Messrs. Harper and Bearfoot, carrying their wands of office, and when the baptistry was reached a halt was made and the Bishop performed the dedication ceremony. Then the hymn was resumed and the clergy and choir proceeded to the gallery, where the bells were severally dedicated by name. (Woolwich Gazette - Fri 17 Apr 1903)
[7] Plumstead parish records - Copy citation (Rochester Diocese) for removal of old bell and placing new tubular bells [number not stated], 24 Apr 1903. This cited vestry resolution of 29 Dec 1902 agreeing to place new bells in the tower and to apply for faculty. Also faculty in Rochester Diocesan records, 1903 (LMA ref: DR/F/1903/003) (Rochester Diocesan records at London Metropolitan Archive Ref. P97/MGT/99)
[8] Faculty (Plumstead St.Margaret) to remove organ, reredos, altar, communion rails and bells from St.Margaret’s to be installed in Saint Mark, Plumstead, as a result of union of two parishes, including 1 photograph, 1966 (Southwark Diocesan records at London Metropolitan Archive Ref. DS/F/0633)

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 13 April 2020