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Sanctus 1-1-1218" C 1953 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never Treble 3-1-1124½" G 1953 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never 2 3-2-1125⅛" F♯ 1953 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never 3 4-0-1427" E 1953 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never 4 4-3-1129⅜" D 1953 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never 5 5-1-2231⅜" C 1953 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never 6 6-2-1833" B 1952 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never 7 8-1-636½" A 1952 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never Tenor 11-3-2340" G 1972 Whitechapel Bell Foundry Never

Previous tenor

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Tenor11-1-140"G1952Mears & StainbankNeverRecast 1972

Ring of 8 lost in the War

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Treble3-3-2725"G1929Mears & StainbankNeverDestroyed 1941
23-3-2326"F♯1929Mears & StainbankNeverDestroyed 1941
34-2-1127½"E1694James Bartlett1929 Mears & StainbankDestroyed 1941
44-3-1829"D1662Anthony Bartlett1929 Mears & StainbankDestroyed 1941
55-1-1430⅝"C1662Anthony Bartlett1929 Mears & StainbankDestroyed 1941
66-3-632¾"B1662Anthony Bartlett1929 Mears & StainbankDestroyed 1941
78-2-2236¼"A1662Anthony Bartlett1929 Mears & StainbankDestroyed 1941
Tenor11-0-240"G1662Anthony Bartlett1929 Mears & Stainbank. See also Ref. 1 below.Destroyed 1941
Clock2 cwt approx.22½"G1784UnknownNeverDestroyed 1941

History

1552 Record of 4 bells and a Sanctus. [1]
1662 The old bells were recast into a ring of 5 by Anthony Bartlet.
1665 Samuel Pepys in his diary of 30 July noted "It was a sad noise to hear our bell to tell and ring so often today either for death or burials: I think five or six time".
1666 The bells survived the Great Fire.
1694 A treble was added by James Bartlet to make a ring of 6. The new bell was hung by Mr Cole who also repaired the fittings of the other bells.
1708 Record of 6 bells in the tower.
1714 Record of "six large bells".
1732 The top stage of the tower was rebuilt, necessitating the installation of a new bellframe, completed the following year. The bells were rehung by William Cole.
1749 Record of the sanctus bell. [2]
1785 The vestry ordered on 28 March that "a new bell in the steeple for the clock, the other broke".
1891 The church was reopened on 30 October.
1928 John Taylor & Co inspected the bells, noting the diameters, frame plan and describing the fittings as "very old".
1929 The bells were rehung and retuned by Mears & Stainbank. They were augmented with two trebles (the gift of The Lord Wakefield of Hythe) to make eight. They were dedicated on 29th July (St Olave's Day). At the time, the back bells were described as the oldest peal available for ringing in the City of London (as St Bartholomew the Great was described as unavailable for ringing, as presumably were St Andrew Undershaft). [3]
1941 The church was damaged by enemy action and the bells were destroyed. Some of the metal was salvaged.
1952 3 stock bells were supplied for a new ring of 8 (these being the back 3).
1953 Bells 3-5 were cast for the church. In October the church ordered the two trebles, which were then also supplied. All 8 bells were hung in a new frame and first rung on Christmas Day.
1972 The tenor had come cracked and was recast by Whitechapel. An identical inscription was put on the new bell to the old.
[1] Itm ther remanyth in the Stiple iiij greate beles and a Saunce bell. (Edwardian Inventory, 1552)
[2] (Vestry minutes, 27 Mar 1749)
[3] There is some ambigiuty in the reports of the weight of the tenor bell of this old ring. The Whitechapel tuning book states that the bell came out the mould at 11-1-2, with the borings given as 0-1-5, giving a final weight as 10-3-25. This is consistent with the weight that was quoted in the Ringing World peal reports at the time. However, the borings note was subsequently altered to 0-1-0, which gives a despatch weight of 11-0-2. So dear reader, take your pick! (After the bells were destroyed, 48-2-0 of metal was recovered.) (Note about the weight of the tenor bell)

Articles

  • "London's Oldest Ringing Peal", Author not given (The Ringing World) 2 August 2029
  • "St Olave, Hart Street, City of London", Pickford, Christopher J and Churchill, Robin (The Ringing World) 25 July 1975
  • Pictures of the church



    Photo:

    Pictures from the belfry


    The Sanctus bell in the cupola on top of the tower.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, Mar 2005


    Photo: Dickon R Love, Mar 2005


    Photo: Dickon R Love, Mar 2005

    The space above the bells.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 26 Nov 2013

    View down on to the bells.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 26 Nov 2013


    Photo: Dickon R Love, 26 Nov 2013


    Photo: Dickon R Love, 26 Nov 2013

    Pictures from the ringing room



    Photo: Dickon R Love, 26 Nov 2013


    Photo: Dickon R Love, 26 Nov 2013
    Recent Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2019-09-155056 Coniston Bluebird Delight Major
    2019-09-155088 80th Birthday Delight Major
    2019-09-155040 Cambridge Surprise Royal
    2019-09-155032 Vorlus-Snorlus Alliance Major
    2019-09-155040 London No 3 Surprise Royal
    2019-09-155007 Stedman Cinques
    2019-09-155950 Stedman Cinques
    2019-09-155040 Gillett Alliance Major
    2019-09-145040 Cambridge Surprise Royal
    2019-09-145019 Stedman Caters
    2019-09-145152 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    2019-09-145088 Bristol Surprise Maximus
    2019-09-145040 Cambridge Surprise Maximus
    2019-09-145148 Spliced Maximus (8 Methods)
    2019-09-145040 Spliced Surprise Minor
    2019-09-145120 Spliced Surprise Major
    2019-09-145000 Bristol Surprise Royal
    2019-09-145184 Spliced Surprise Major (2m)
    2019-09-145056 Plain Bob Major
    2019-09-145040 Cambridge Surprise Royal
    2019-09-145040 Cambridge Surprise Royal
    2019-09-145088 Lessness Surprise Major
    2019-09-145040 Grandsire Triples
    2019-09-145040 Doubles (three Methods)
    2019-09-145160 Bristol Surprise Royal
    Recent Quarter Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2019-09-151260 Grandsire Triples
    2019-09-151296 Carlisle Surprise Minor
    2019-09-151296 Cambridge Surprise Minor
    2019-09-151260 Doubles (3m)
    2019-09-151344 Little Bob Major
    2019-09-151260 Doubles (5 M/V)
    2019-09-151280 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    2019-09-151320 Spliced Surprise Royal (4m)
    2019-09-151320 Plain Bob Doubles
    2019-09-151260 Doubles
    2019-09-151344 Lessness Surprise Major
    2019-09-151344 Plain Bob Major
    2019-09-151260 Grandsire Doubles
    2019-09-151296 Cambridge Surprise Minor
    2019-09-151320 Treble Dodging Minor
    2019-09-151260 Plain Bob Triples
    2019-09-151260 Grandsire Triples
    2019-09-151250 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    2019-09-151260 Chilham Treble Place Doubles
    2019-09-151270 Doubles
    2019-09-151264 Plain Bob Major
    2019-09-151295 Plain Bob Minor
    2019-09-151260 Plain Bob Triples
    2019-09-151260 St Simon's Bob Triples
    2019-09-151274 Minor (2m)
    Full list of peals here
    Full list of quarters here

    Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 16 September 2019