Goudhurst, St Mary the Virgin

  • 8 bells hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 23¾ cwt approx. in D.
  • Grid Ref: TQ723378
  • Rung from: Glazed Gallery
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Maidstone
  • Kent County Association of Change Ringers District: Tonbridge
  • Building Listed Grade: I Click for Heritage details.
  • Peals rung at the tower

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)

(As dispatched 1934)

(Prior to 1934)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® Treble 5½ cwt approx.5-3-236-0-830½" D 1775 Pack & Chapman, Whitechapel Removed 1934 Mears & Stainbank
® 2 6 cwt approx.6-1-176-2-2632" C♯ 1834 Thomas Mears II Removed 1934 Mears & Stainbank
® 3 7¾ cwt approx.7-0-1433" B 1776 Pack & Chapman, Whitechapel Removed Never
® 4 8 cwt approx.8-1-268-3-237" A 1805 Thomas Mears & Son Removed 1934 Mears & Stainbank
® 5 9¾ cwt approx.10-1-1810-2-2639½" G 1707 Richard Phelps, Whitechapel Removed 1934 Mears & Stainbank
® 6 11¾ cwt approx.12-1-2012-2-442" F♯ 1707 Richard Phelps, Whitechapel Removed 1934 Mears & Stainbank
® 7 16¼ cwt approx.17-1-817-2-1846¾" E 1707 Richard Phelps, Whitechapel Removed 1934 Mears & Stainbank
® Tenor 23¾ cwt approx.25-0-525-2-2352½" D 1834 Thomas Mears II Removed 1934 Mears & Stainbank

®  - Hung for full circle ringing


From the 1707 ring of six

Bell DateFounderRetunedFate
Treble1707Richard PhelpsNeverRecast in 1776
2nd1707Richard PhelpsNeverRecast in 1805
Tenor1707Richard PhelpsNeverRecast in 1834

Prior to 1834

Bell DateFounderRetunedFate
2nd1775Pack & ChapmanNeverRecast in 1834


1637 On Wed 23 Aug the "very tall" spire that was on top of the church was struck by lightning that caused a fire that melted the 5 bells that were reported to be in the tower. [1]
1638 The tower was rebuilt after the fire but only up to a certain height in stone as funds ran out. The tower was topped with a wooden top set upon the stonework in which a single "great bell" was hung. This single bell was still there in 1659.
1690 3rd (of 6) cast.
1697 4th (of 6) cast.
1707 Ring of 6 cast by Richard Phelps.
1775 2 trebles added by Pack & Chapman to make 8.
1776 3rd recast by Pack & Chapman.
1805 4th recast by Thomas Mears.
1834 2nd and tenor recast by Thomas Mears.
1934 Bells retuned (apart from the 3rd) and rehung by Mears & Stainbank,
1972 The canons were removed and the bells were rehung in the existing frame by Whitechapel. Since all the work took place in the tower, the bells were never reweighed, hence the approximate weights given for all the bells.
[1] The Church standeth in the Hundred of Marden, & was called St. Maries, (which Church is very large, standeth upon avery highhill, and had to the same a very large, & tall spire or shaft; but upon Wednesday the 23. day of August 1637 (about eleven of the clock at night) there happened a most fierce, and sudden storme of thunder, and lightning, which set on fire the said steeple, and broke, and melted five great bels in the same, and burnt, and consumed foure lofts, and all the timber and woodwork of the steeple, and the stonework of the same was thereby so shaken and rent, that it was faine afterwards to be pulled down, and the Church, and leads, by fall of the timber, was much impaired. In the year following a collection (by way of Brief) was in this, and severall other Counties (for repaire of this mishap) and a parish tax also made for that purpose, and the foundation of the steeple begun anew of stone (almost up to the Roofe of the Church) but (by the falsity of the Collectors abroad, and dissention of the inhabitants at home) the worke went no further (onely a small low wooden top is set upon the stone-work, and one great Bell onely hung there, and so it now remaineth. (A topographie or survey of the county of Kent with some chronological, historicall, and other matters touching the same, and the several parishes and places therein, Kilburne, Richard, 1659)

Peal Boards

Timber Performance Board dated approx. 1933
04 Feb 1933: 5040 Stedman Triples

Photo: Christopher J Cooper, 1 May 2017

Recent Peals
The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
2019-12-165056 Plain Bob Major
2002-12-295056 Cornwall Surprise Major
2001-12-275088 Spliced Surprise Major
1994-12-285040 Grandsire Triples
1990-11-245022 Yorkshire Surprise Major
1990-01-205024 Cambridge Surprise Major
1908-04-215040 Stedman Triples
Recent Quarter Peals
The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
2018-09-261344 Plain Bob Major
2018-06-091280 Quedgeley Surprise Major
2018-01-131260 Grandsire Triples
2017-04-171280 Superlative Surprise Major
2014-08-281280 Double Norwich Court Bob Major
2014-05-031260 Grandsire Triples
2013-05-041280 Kent Treble Bob Major
2012-06-051260 Plain Bob Doubles
2010-05-011260 Plain Bob Triples
2009-10-271260 Grandsire Triples
2008-10-121280 Treble Bob Major In The Kent Variation
2005-07-161344 Spliced Surprise Major (6m)
1997-02-141280 Goudhurst Surprise Major
1983-01-031264 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: 30 December 2020