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Stone by Dartford
 

Stone by Dartford, St Mary


Photo: Dickon Love

  • 6 bells hung for full circle ringing, a stationary clock bell and a bell hung for swing chiming
  • Tenor: 8-0-1 in A.
  • Grid Ref: TQ576748
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Frame: 2010 Whitechapel and some earlier timber frame timbers for the other 2 bells.
  • Diocese: Rochester
  • Building Listed Grade: I. Click for Heritage details.
  • Peals rung at the tower

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Weight
(As supplied to Homerton)
Weight
(As received by Whitechapel)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned
6 8-0-135¹⁵⁄₁₆" A 2010 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never
5 6-1-126-3-96-3-832¹¹⁄₁₆" B 1890 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel 2010 Whitechapel
4 5-0-25-2-125-2-1029⅞" C♯ 1890 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel 2010 Whitechapel
3 4-1-225-0-14-3-2728⅝" D 1890 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel 2010 Whitechapel
2 4-0-74-2-144-1-2626¹³⁄₁₆" E 1890 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel 2010 Whitechapel
1 3-2-104-0-34-0-025⁷⁄₁₆" F♯ 1890 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel 2010 Whitechapel
Swing bell 5-3-1930¹⁵⁄₁₆" D 1806 Thomas Mears & Son Never
Clock bell 4-1-2627¼" G♭ 1806 Thomas Mears & Son Never

Inscriptions

How the bells are tuned

Earlier bells in the tower

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
A bell1676John & Christopher HodsonNeverRecast 1806

Original Homerton tenor

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Weight
(As supplied to Homerton)
Weight
(As received by Whitechapel)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Tenor (of 6)7-1-278-1-98-1-835⅞"A1890Mears & StainbankNeverRecast 2010

History

970 Evidence of a Saxon church in existence.
c 1350 14th Cent The church was built under the direction of Westminster Abbey.
1552 Record of 3 bells and a sanctus bell ("Item iij bells in the steple suted of brasse a saints bell of brasse and two sacryng bells of brasse.") [1]
1638 14th Jan. Lightning from a serious storm caused the spire and nave roofs / aisles to be burned down. The 5 bells were melted in the heat. Queen Elizabeth had called these bells her "Nightingales" because of their sweet sound when rung.
1676 A bell was cast by John & Christopher Hodson and hung in the newly restored tower. The frame cannot have been totally destroyed as some of the medieval timbers from the original frame survive today.
1691 A bell was given by Henry Draper.
c 1750 Hasted records five bells in the tower. It would appear he was mistaken as the five bells had been destroyed a hundred years earlier.
1806 Both bells in the tower were recast by Thomas Mears & Son.
2007 An offer was put in for a set of bells from Newtown, Powys by the Keltek Trust, but a higher offer was made by Wrexham RC Cathedral. Keltek increased their offer, but to no avail, so another set of bells for Stone was sought
2010 The 6 bells earlier acquired from St Paul's, Homerton were tuned, but it was clear that the tenor was inferior to the rest with a large porous patch in the waist that was visible inside and out! It was therefore recast.
2011 The bells were hung in a new frame in the tower. The existing two were rehung, one stationary as a clock bell (the smaller) and the other for swing chiming. They were dedicated on the floor of the church on 16th Jan.
[1] Item iij bells in the steple suted of brasse a saints bell of brasse and two sacryng bells of brasse. (Edwardian Inventory, 1552)

Gallery


Prior to the installation of the ring of six, the larger of the 2 bells.
Photo: Dickon Love, 7 May 2005

And the smaller bell.
Photo: Dickon Love, 7 May 2005

The two bells side by side, hung for swing chiming (although shown here clocked) in the reconstructed frame from medieval timbers along the east wall of the tower.
Photo: Dickon Love, 7 May 2005

The new ring of six after they were installed.
Photo: Frank Lewis 2010


Photo: Frank Lewis 2010


Photo: Frank Lewis 2010


Photo: Dickon Love, 2013


Photo: Dickon Love, 2013
Full list of peals here
Full list of quarters here

Elsewhere in the Parish

Stone-by-Dartford, Stone House Hospital
Single bell (possibly more)

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 1 April 2016