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Erith
 

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

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)*
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® Treble 4-1-527¼" G 1882 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never
® 2 5-0-028¼" F♯ 1882 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never
® 3 7-1-1930" E 1763 Lester & Pack, Whitechapel Never
® 4 6-1-1932" D 1925 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never
® 5 8-3-434½" C 1763 Lester & Pack, Whitechapel Never
® 6 9-3-1237" B 1703 Richard Phelps, Whitechapel Never
® 7 12-2-1241¼" A 1882 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never
® Tenor 16-3-2244½" 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

Inscriptions

The original ring of 6

Bell Weight
(most recent)
DiameterDateFounderRetunedFate
Treble7 cwt approx.1703Richard PhelpsNeverRecast in 1763.
2nd6-2-1332"1703Richard PhelpsNeverRecast in 1925.
3rd9 cwt approx.1703Richard PhelpsNeverRecast in 1763.
4th9-3-1237"1703Richard PhelpsNeverStill in tower.
5th13 cwt approx.1703Richard PhelpsNeverRecast in 1882.
Tenor17 cwt approx.1703Richard PhelpsNeverRecast 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
Recent Peals
The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
2010-03-205024 Bristol Surprise Major
2005-10-085056 Cambridge Surprise Major
2004-07-315024 Spliced Surprise Major
1982-01-225120 Ipswich Surprise Major
1962-11-065056 Bristol Surprise Major
1961-08-115040 Stedman Triples
1961-04-215152 Spliced Surprise Major
1960-02-195056 Premier Surprise Major
1958-11-075040 Erin Triples
1957-07-195040 Stedman Triples
1957-06-075088 Bristol Surprise Major
1957-05-245024 Ealing Surprise Major
1956-10-125088 Bristol Surprise Major
1955-05-065040 Stedman Triples
1953-05-025120 Spliced Surprise Major
1939-05-205056 Superlative Surprise Major
1935-04-065024 Spliced Surprise Major
1934-12-015056 Cambridge Surprise Major
1934-04-035056 Cambridge Surprise Major
1933-10-285024 Bristol Surprise Major
1933-07-225024 Bristol Surprise Major
1933-03-045024 Spliced Surprise Major (4m)
1931-10-185088 Norfolk Surprise Major
1931-08-165088 Double Norwich Court Bob Major
1931-04-235056 Bristol Surprise Major
Recent Quarter Peals
The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
2014-03-071272 Plain Bob Minimus
2010-09-041260 Grandsire Triples
2010-02-131260 Plain Bob Doubles
2004-01-231250 Cambridge Surprise Major
1988-02-011288 Grandsire Triples
1983-04-091260 Grandsire Doubles
1981-10-151280 Plain Bob 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