Erith, St John the Baptist

Photo: Dickon Love

  • 8 bells hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 16-3-22 in G
  • Grid Ref: TQ508787
  • Rung from: Ground Floor
  • Denomination: Church of England
  • Diocese (Anglican): Rochester
  • Kent County Association of Change Ringers District: Lewisham
  • Building Listed Grade: II* Click for Heritage details.
  • Peals rung at the tower (Felstead Database)

  • Details of the Bells

    Bell Weight
    (most recent) *
    Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
    ® Treble 4-1-5 27¼" G 1882 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never
    ® 2 5-0-0 28¼" F♯ 1882 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never
    ® 3 7-1-19 30" E 1763 Lester & Pack, Whitechapel Never
    ® 4 6-1-19 32" D 1925 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never
    ® 5 8-3-4 34½" C 1763 Lester & Pack, Whitechapel Never
    ® 6 9-3-12 37" B 1703 Richard Phelps, Whitechapel Never
    ® 7 12-2-12 41¼" A 1882 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never
    ® Tenor 16-3-22 44½" G 1763 Lester & Pack, Whitechapel Never

    * Source of weight figures: Monumental Inscriptions in Erith Parish Church, Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 16 1886

    ® - Hung for full circle ringing

    Bellframes

    Frame Bells Year Maker Material Truss(es) Local
    Layout
    1 All bells 1882 Oak
    Inscriptions on the Bells

    The original ring of 6

    Bell Weight
    (most recent)
    Diameter Date Founder Retuned Fate
    Treble 7 cwt approx. 1703 Richard Phelps Never Recast in 1763.
    2nd 6-2-13 32" 1703 Richard Phelps Never Recast in 1925.
    3rd 9 cwt approx. 1703 Richard Phelps Never Recast in 1763.
    4th 9-3-12 37" 1703 Richard Phelps Never Still in tower.
    5th 13 cwt approx. 1703 Richard Phelps Never Recast in 1882.
    Tenor 17 cwt approx. 1703 Richard Phelps Never Recast in 1763.
    History

    1552 Record of 3 bells. [1]
    1703 Ring of 6 cast by Richard Phelps.
    1763 Treble, 3rd and 6th (of 6) recast by Lester & Pack.
    1877 The church was damaged by fire after which it went through a complete restoration. The tower (14 feet square inside, and 40 feet high) was almost [2]
    1882 5th (of 6) recast and 2 trebles added to make 8 by Mears & Stainbank. The bells were rehung with new frame and fittings by G R Bands of Kennington. The bells were taken down in June 1881 and rehung in November 1882. [3]
    1925 Bells quarter turned, fittings repaired and rehung with new bearings by Mears & Stainbank.

    [1] Item iij bells suted of brasse in the steple and one litle bell of brasse.' ('Edwardian Inventory, 1552)
    [2] The old church underwent a complete restoration in the year 1877. A north aisle (50 feet long and 21 feet broad) was then added, and a north chancel built; the old vestry was removed to give room for this. A new porch wns built at the south door; the tower (14 feet square inside, and 40 feet high) was almost entirely rebuilt, and a peal of eight bells was completed by the addition of two to the older six.' ('Monumental Inscriptions in Erith Parish Church, Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 16 1886)
    [3] The bells were taken down in June 1881, and re-hung in November 1882. The fifth bell (now the seventh) was recast, and two smaller bells were added. The bells bear the following inscriptions : 1st and 2nd. Mears and Stainbank. Founders. London, 1882. 3rd and 8th. Lester and Pack, of London. Fecit. James Marsh, Churchwarden.1763. 4th. Mrs. Cornelia Bateman gave £100 towards these bells. 5th. James Marsh, Chh "Warden, 1763. Lester and Park, of London. 6th. E. Phelps. Fecit 1703. 7th. (Before recasting) B. P. Fecit 1703; (after recasting) Mears and Stainbank, Founders, 1882. Their weights without clappers are: treble, 4 cwt. 1 qr. 5 Ibs.; 2nd, 5 cwt. 0 qr. 0 lb.; 3rd, 3 cwt. 1 qr. 19 Ibs.; 4th, 6 cwt. 2 qrs. 13 Ibs.; 5th, 8 cwt. 3 qrs. 4 Ibs.; 6th, 9 cwt. 3 qrs. 12 Ibs.; 7th, 12 cwt. 2 qrs. 12 Ibs.; tenor, 16 cwt. 3 qrs. 22 Ibs. Total weight of metal, 69 cwt. 2 qrs. 3 Ibs. The smallest bell is 26½ inches in width across the mouth; the largest 44½ inches. [There is clearly a misprint in the weight of the 3rd,which is surely not 3-1-19, however the weights are all added up, to get to 69-2-3, the 3rd is obviously 7-1-19 (which makes it heavier than the 4th, but given the dates of them, this is not unreasonable).]' ('Monumental Inscriptions in Erith Parish Church, Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 16 1886)
    Gallery


    When the original ring of 6 bells were cast in 1703, Mrs Cornelia Bateman gave £100, a benefaction which is recorded on the inscription on the recast 4th. A descendent of Mrs Bateman's family* got in touch with the Editor of this site to advise that she h
    Photo: Dickon Love, 31 Jul 2004

    Page updated: 1 April 2016