Ramsgate, St George the Martyr

Photo: Postcard from DLC collection

  • 11 tubular bells and single bell hung for full circle ringing but unringable
  • Tenor: 10½ cwt approx. in A.
  • Grid Ref: TR381652
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Frame: Lowside type oak with rather slight braces.
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Canterbury
  • Building Listed Grade: I Click for Heritage details.

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® 1 10½ cwt approx.38¼" A 1827 Thomas Mears II, Whitechapel Never

®  - Hung for full circle ringing


Details of the Tubular Bells

Bell Length
DiameterDate Founder
1 49⅞"3"1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry
2 54⅛"3"1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry
3 55½"3"1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry
4 59¾"3¼"1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry
5 64"3¼"1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry
6 68"3¼"1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry
Flat 6 71⅝"3¼"1929 Harrington, Holland & Co., Coventry
7 72¼"3¼"1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry
8 74½"3¼"1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry
9 79⅜"3¼"1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry
10 88⅜"4"1888 Harrington, Latham & Co, Coventry

1942 - 1985

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Stored Bell3½ cwt approx.25"G♯1797Thomas Mears INeverFrom St Mary's, transferred to Gt Chart


1789 St Mary’s Chapel built and provided with one bell.
1797 "Broken" bell exchanged for a new one at a cost of £12.7s.3d
1824 Foundation stone of St George’s Church laid on 30 Aug by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Charles Manners-Sutton. [1]
1827 Church consecrated in the Presence of Princess (later Queen) Victoria on 23rd October. Architects were Henry Hemesley & H. E. Kendall. Trinity House contributed handsomely to the cost of the lofty lantern on the tower, which is still a sea mark. A bell was "hired" from the Whitechapel Foundry at 5% of its value p.a. Either it is still on loan, or else was purchased later! The tower was stated to be "vaulted underneath and capable of taking eight bells". [2]
1832 A magnificent clock, still in use, was provided by B. J. Vulliamy, Clockmaker to The King. Its pendulum bob, marked VULLIAMY 1cwt 1qr 11lb LONDON swings directly over the chiming manual for the tubular bells.
1888 A set of ten tubular bells was given by Mr G. J. Palmer and dedicated 1st November. [3]
1928 A local newspaper commentator wondered whether Ramsgate should install a carillon similar to those on the continent in place of the tubular bells in the tower, and that the arrival of the new vicar should be announced with one of these. [4]
1929 The tubular bells were overhauled and a flat 6th added. The work was delayed until after a visit by the Archbishop of Canterbury. [5]
1942 St Mary's, Chapel Place, Ramsgate was bombed on 9 Nov. The single bell at some point was transferred to St George's and stored on the NW porch access to the gallery.
1947 The 1827 bell was stripped of its wheel in Dec and given a lever clapper, and the tubular bells overhauled by Gillett & Johnston.
1955 St Mary’s Church ruins demolished.
1978 The vicar launched an appeal for new young people to ring the tubular bells. [6]
1985 The ex-St Mary’s bell was acquired by the KCACR and given to Great Chart.
1993 The single bell was rehung with a deadstock and electric hammer by Whitechapel.
[1] Monday next is determined on for laying the first stone of Ramsgate new church. The site for its erection is a capacious plot of ground on the north side of the High-street, near Chatham Place. At this important ceremony, his Grace the Archbishop (who is now residing there) will preside, and several of the cergy of the county are expected to be present. The preparations for the accomplishment of this interesting event, are on an extended scale. (Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal - Fri 27 Aug 1824)
[2] LOCAL INTELLIGENCE. CONSECRATION OF THE NEW CHURCH AT RAMSGATE - Tuesday the Consecration of the handsome new structure which has been erected at Ramsgate for Divine Service took place. (Kentish Weekly Post or Canterbury Journal - Tues 30 Oct 1827)
[3] THE PEAL OF BELLS FOR ST. GEORGE'S CHURCH. On Thursday morning a vestry meeting was held at the Town Hall, Ramsgate, for the purpose of formally accepting the gift of a peal of bells for St. George's Church, generously made by G. J. Palmer, Esq., of the Church Times ... After unsuccessfully waiting for some ten minutes for the attendance of his worship the Mayor, who had expressed a wish to be present in his official capacity on such an important occasion, The Vicar (the Rev. Harry Bartram), who was warmly received, opened the meeting by reading the notice convening it. He then said he felt that such an important event as the presentation of a peal of bells to the parish church of Ramsgate ought not to be allowed to pass by without some public ceremony, but that the privilege of accepting that gift should be enjoyed by the parishioners as well as by himself as Vicar of the parish. For sixty years this fine old parish church had been a landmark for the surrounding district, and everyone who came into Ramsgate remarked the beauty and prominence of the its tower. It seemed strange that for so many years the tower should be incapable of sending forth the beautiful music heard from the neighbouring churches of St. Lawrence and St. Peter's. He desire to bring forward and move from the chair the following proposition:- "That the meeting of the parishioners of Ramsgate in vestry assembled formally accepts the gift of a peal of bells made to the parish church by G.J. Palmer, Esq., and desires to express its lively sense of the donor's generoisty and public spirit." (Applause.) He (the Vicar) felt that it needed no words from him to express how much they valued the various kindnesses of Mr. Palmer since he had come to live amongst them. (Applause.) Whenever there was an opportunity of doing good he came to the front in a generous and ready manner, a fact which they had all observed on more than one occasion during the past year. The present munificent gift, he might say, was the result of an offer quite spontaneously made by Mr. Palmer in the course of conversation with him (the Vicar), and it seemed to be the crown of all his generosty (Applause.) He would say no more, but simply move the resolution. Mr C.H. Rose [Churchwarden] seconded, and observed that the present was an instance of public spirit which was seldom met with in Ramsgate. He was pleased to see, from what had occurred during the past few days, that the inhabitants of the town had some amount of public spirit left in connection with other matters. (Applause.) There had been some fears expressed as to the safety of the church tower when the new peal was erercted. Mr. Wilson would, however, tell them that such apprehensions were groundless, and that the tower, having been examined, it was found that there was not the slightest fear of any damage being caused to it. The speaker concluded by saying that they would all accept the gift with the most grateful feelings towards the donor. (Applause.) Mr. S. R. Wilson [other Churchwarden] said that he felt bound to say a few words with regard to that which some few years ago was considered to stand in the way of having a peal of bells in the tower of the parish church. When a similar idea was put forward some thirty years ago it was urged that its adoption would affect the safety of the tower, and the proposal was consequently put on one side. On that occasion the bells were to be purchased by public subscription, but they now had a public-spirited man who had made the gift himself. He (the speaker) had been told that as a Churchwardens, entrusted with the safety of the fabric of the church, he was incurring a great responsibility in allowing the peal to be placed in the tower. Fortunately they had a practical man (Mr. Hampshire) to whom they could turn for advise, and, as a result of a careful examination, it was found that there was no danger at all. The new bells would not cause anything like the vibration which the swinging of the old bell did at present. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Palmer was not only charitable, but he was public spirited as well, and he thought they had to thank him very much for the handsome way in which he had come forward. (Applause.) Mr. Hampshire briefly alluded to the state of the tower, endorsing the statements of previous speakers as to its capability of bearing any strain arising from the new peal. The Vicar then put the resolution, which was carried amid loud applause ... Workmen are now engaged fixing the peal, and yesterday afternoon those living in the neighbourhood of the church were made pleasantly aware of the fact by an occasional testing of the bells. (Thanet Advertiser - Saturday 27 October 1888)
[4] RAMSGATE’S CARILLON. Sir.—The interesting article your last issue on The Carillon is well worthy of our townspeople and your correspondent is to be heartily congratulated his sensible remarks on the extreme beauty of carillons and especially of the famous one of Bruges. Our carillon at St. George’s Church is anything but a real full range carillon. I believe there are only eight tubular bells, and a proper carillon usually consists of at least forty-nine bells, the number, for instance, of Loughborough’s famous carillon. It has always seemed to me that a full range carillon would be great attraction to visitors as our town could possibly possess. I know full well that since Loughborough had such a grand lead in their Mayor proposing a carillon for war memorial the townspeople of Loughborough took the matter up enthusiastically, with the result that they at present possess the finest carillon m the country. Surely there are sufficient people in Ramsgate with influence to see that our town is given the charm and beauty of full range carillon. We have, I believe, a new vicar coming soon. Can we not signalise his coming by having a good full range carillon in lieu of the eight tabular bells now at St. George’s Church? One more practical suggestion I would like to make is whether a carillon could not be placed in the tower of the Granville Hotel. The influential people who usually stay at the Granville would undoubtedly take this up with enthusiasm. Yours faithfully. J. C. McCLURE. St. Lawrence. 3rd October, 1928. (Thanet Advertiser - Fri 05 Oct 1928)
[5] ST GEORGE'S CHIMES. TO WELCOME ARCHBISHOP. As first announced in the THANET ADVERTISER, the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. Lang) is to visit Ramsgate on the 5th October, when an ecclesiastical and civic welcome will be extended to his Grace. The chimes at St. George's Church will not be dismantled until after the Archbishop's visit. It had been arranged that they should be re-cast, re-wired and re-hung, with the addition of a much needed F sharp chime, and that they should be dismantled before October. The reason why that is not going to happen is explained in the parish magazine for September. Thus:- "As the Archbishop is visiting the town on 5th October, it has been suggested that it would not be dignified for St. George's to welcome him with one bell." The sum required for the re-casting, etc., was £85, and Mr. F.S. Wraight informs us that the necessary amount has been obtained and the fund closed. The latest acknowledged list of donations includes one from Canada sent by Mrs. Palm, daughter of Mrs. Deane. (Thanet Advertiser - Fri 06 Sept 1929)
[6] Ringing Appeal. The Tubular bells at St. George's Church, Ramsgate, have now been repaired but the parish priest, Mr. John Tunbridge, is appealing for youngsters to ring them. Anyone over the age of 10 who is keen on learning the skill should contact Mr. Tunbridge or phone bellringers Mr. Douglas Ralph on 54807. There will be a bell-ringing practice at the church on Wednesday, 22 November at 6p.m. (Thanet Times - Tuesday 07 November 1978)


The service bell.
Photo: David L Cawley

The bell hanging in its frame, sharing the tower with a set of tubular bells.
Photo: David L Cawley

The chiming apparatus for the tubular bells.
Photo: David L Cawley

The rack of tubular bells.
Photo: David L Cawley

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 18 April 2020