Eastry, St Mary the Blessed Virgin

Photo: Richard Offen, 2005

  • 8 bells hung for full circle ringing, a sanctus bell and one in storage
  • Tenor: 16-3-20 in E♭.
  • Grid Ref: TR310547
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Ashford
  • 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)

(As supplied)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® Treble 5-1-428.7" E♭ 2007 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 2 5-1-1729¼" D 2007 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 3 6-1-1531½" C 2007 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Flat Never
® 4 7-0-77-0-2233⅝" B♭ 1902 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat 2007 Whitechapel
® 5 7-1-936³⁄₁₆" A♭ 1609 John Clarke Removed 2007 Whitechapel
® 6 9-1-19-2-237⅜" G 1975 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough Flat 2007 Whitechapel
® 7 13-1-2443¹⁵⁄₁₆" F 1734 Richard Phelps, Whitechapel Removed 2007 Whitechapel
® Tenor 16-3-2047½" E♭ 1740 Robert Catlin, Holborn Removed 2007 Whitechapel
Sanctus 0-2-1414⁹⁄₁₆" C 1375 Unknown Never
҈ Stored Bell 10½ cwt approx.39⅞" G 1629 Henry Wilnar, Borden, Kent Never

®  - Hung for full circle ringing
 - Hung dead
҈    - Unhung

How the bells are tuned


c 1375 "Sanctus" (ex-school) bell cast probably by John Rufford of Toddington for an unknown destination.
1584 Former treble cast by Robert Mot of Whitechapel.
1609 Present 2nd cast by John Clarke, an itinerant founder.
1629 3rd (of 5) cast by Henry Wilnar of Borden.
1734 Present 4th cast by Richard Phelps of Whitechapel.
1740 Present tenor cast and bells rehung in a new timber frame thought to be by Robert Catlin of Holborn.
1759 Record of 5 bells in the tower. [1]
1795 Record of 5 bells in the tower. [2]
1859 Eastry School was built at which time a small bell by Rufford is thought to have been hung (although there was an earlier school in 1840). The bell probably didn’t come from the church, although it later went to the church after the school closed down.
1902 Treble recast by John Taylor.
1909 Tenor rehung by Alfred Bowell.
1913 2nd, 3rd & 4th rehung by Alfred Bowell with steel headstocks.
1934 In a routine report, Taylors state that the 3rd is cracked in the crown.
1967 Bells rehung with new gudgeons, bearings and frictional parts by John Taylor.
1975 After lengthy negotiations, the cracked 3rd was retired to the ringing chamber, being one of only four bells known to have been cast by Henry Wilnar. Taylor's, who described the bell as "deficient in thickness and weight", cast a new bell 2½" smaller!
1995 Estimates obtained for extensive restoration of the bellframe, overhaul of fittings, welding and replacing the original 3rd bell of 1629 and possible augmentation to six.
1997 The 3 bells from the redundant All Saints, Hawkhurst were removed and put into storage. The tenor went to Eastry, although a mistake was made and at the time this was believed to be the 2nd.
2005 The fact that Eastry was actually in possession of the Hawkhurst tenor rather than the 2nd as previously thought was discovered when the tuning figures were measured: it was the same note as the current treble. It was deemed unsuitable for augmentation.
2007 Three trebles were cast and the remaining bells were retuned by Whitechapel.
2008 The new ring of 8 was hung in the tower by Matthew Higby.
[1] This Church which is pretty large, consists of The Chancell, The Body, and 2 Side Isles. In the Tower, which stands at the West End of the Body, hang 5 Bells which are thus inscribed. 1. Robertus Mott Me fecit. 1584. 2. Robertus Mott Me fecit. 1584. 3. Henry Willnar fecit. 1629. 4. Richrd Phelps. 1734. 5. Robert Catlin Me fecit. 1740. (Rev’d Bryan Faussett, 1759)
[2] It is a handsome structure of considerable length, consisting of three ailes and a Chancel, with a square tower in the center of the West front, which is ornamented with some neat arches, Gothic windows, Cornice, etc. etc. In it are five Bells, inscribed: 1st. Robert Mot made me 1584. O.E. 2nd. Johannes Clarke hanc fecit Campanam 1609. O.E. Thomas Whitefylde Church Warden. 3rd. Henry Wilnar made me 1629. 4th. Richard Phelps made me. 1734, Thomas Rammel Church Warden. 5th. Thomas Kite, Church Warden. Robert Catlin me fecit 1740. (Zechariah Cozens, 1795)


The 4th.
Photo: Dickon Love, Jun 2013

The 6th.
Photo: Dickon Love, Jun 2013

Photo: Dickon Love, Jun 2013

Photo: Dickon Love, Jun 2013

Photo: Dickon Love, Jun 2013

Photo: Dickon Love, Jun 2013

Photo: Dickon Love, Jun 2013

The intermediate chamber containing the clock mechanism.
Photo: Dickon Love, Jun 2013

The ringing room.
Photo: Dickon Love, Jun 2013

The 14th century sanctus bell which is now on display in the centre of the ringing room.
Photo: Dickon Love, Jun 2013

Photo: Dickon Love, Jun 2013

Photo: Dickon Love, Jun 2013

Peal Boards

Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1953
28 Feb 1953: 5040 Doubles (2m/1p) (1st peal on the bells.)

Photo: MFRS, 27 February 2018

Recent Peals
The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
2013-06-155024 Spliced Surprise Major
2010-11-065024 Spliced Surprise Major
2010-04-105024 Yorkshire Surprise Major
2009-04-125152 Yorkshire Surprise Major
Recent Quarter Peals
The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
2022-05-091320 Allestree Doubles
2022-03-231280 Snaresbrook Surprise Major
2019-09-101288 Plain Bob Triples
2019-08-101250 Superlative Surprise Major
2017-07-061250 Lincolnshire Surprise Major
2014-09-271280 Plain Bob Major
2013-08-271260 Grandsire Triples
2012-09-291280 Cambridge Surprise Major
2012-09-151260 Grandsire Triples
2011-12-031260 Grandsire Triples
2010-04-241260 Grandsire Triples
2009-08-241280 Yorkshire Surprise Major
2009-01-251260 Stedman Triples
2008-09-281260 Grandsire Triples
2008-08-271280 Bristol Surprise Major
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: 1 April 2016