Barham, St John the Baptist

Photo: Richard Offen, 2005

  • 5 bells hung for full circle ringing
  • Tenor: 11-3-3 in F♯.
  • Grid Ref: TR209500
  • Rung from: Open Gallery
  • Frame: 1938 Mears & Stainbank, made of timber
  • Denomination: Church of England
    Diocese (Anglican): Canterbury
    Archdeaconry (Anglican): Canterbury
  • 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)

(Received prior to retuning in 1938)
Diameter Note Date Founder Canons Retuned
® Treble 5-0-115-0-2430" C♯ 1633 John Wilnar, Borden, Kent Conventional 1938 Mears & Stainbank
® 2 5-2-35-3-132" B 1834 Thomas Mears II Conventional 1938 Mears & Stainbank
® 3 6-1-06-1-1633½" A♯ 1730 Samuel Knight, Southwark Conventional 1938 Mears & Stainbank
® 4 8-1-168-2-536½" G♯ 1730 Samuel Knight, Southwark Conventional 1938 Mears & Stainbank
® Tenor 11-3-311-3-2441" F♯ 1947 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Flat Never

®  - Hung for full circle ringing


Frame Bells Year Maker Material Truss(es) Local
1 All bells 1938 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Timber


Prior to 1834

Bell DateFounderRetunedFate
2 of 41633John WilnarNeverRecast 1834


1633 Treble and 2nd (of 4) cast by John Wilnar.
1730 3rd and 4th (of 4) recast by Samuel Knight.
1757 Record of 4 bells. [1]
1834 2nd recast by Thomas Mears. The old bell was transported to Whitechapel by railway. [2]
1930 The bells were reported to be unsafe for ringing. [4]
1938 Bells retuned and rehung in a new timber frame for 5 by Mears & Stainbank. The ringing gallery was removed and the bells subsequently had to be rung from the ground floor.
1947 Tenor bell added to the existing minor 4 to make a diatonic 5.
2004 A new ringing gallery was installed and ringing moved from the ground floor upstairs.
[1] "This Church is a very handsome Building, being about 126 Feet long. It consists of a Large Chancell, 2 Transepts, a Spacious Body, and 1 Side Isle. The Spire which is a very Lofty One, stands at the West End. In It hang 4 Bells, thus inscribed. 1. John WILNAR made Me. 1623. 2. Ditto. 3. S.K. fecit Me 1730. Basil LUN, Ch.Warden. 4. Ditto." (Rev’d Bryan Faussett, 1757)
[2] An old bell, belonging to Barham church, was this week, forwarded by the Canterbury Railway, to Mr Meers, the celebrated bell-founder, at Whitechapel. This ponderous specimen of our ancestor’s skill had on it this inscription – JOHN WILNAR MADE ME 1633. Thus proving its claim to antiquity for two centuries. (Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser - Sat 11 Jan 1834 )
[3] Following our inspection of 30th April 1909, we now beg to report as follows: There are four Bells: 1, 30", 5¼ cwt; 2, 31½", 6 cwt; 3, 33", 6¾ cwt; 4 36", 8½ cwt. In the key of G#. The 3rd Bell is of very poor tone, but not cracked. All require quarter turning. The frame is made for five Bells. It was intended to hold a larger Bell, however the present tenor is large enough for the space. We advise recasting the 2nd and 3rd and adding two smaller Bells. The fittings, framework and flooring are in a dilapidated condition and entire renewal is required. The clock weights fall almost through the middle of the frame and should be shifted. To clear the tower of Bells, fittings and frame, to recast the 2nd and 3rd Bells and to rehang all in a 6-Bell frame (steel on rolled steel joists) with all new fittings we estimate at £182. To provide two extra Bells complete with fittings to make 6 we estimate at £87..15s..0d (Whitechapel Records, 1909)
[4] SILENT CHURCH BELLS. - At a Parochial Church Council meeting held on Wednesday, the Rector presiding, it was decided to undertake certain necessary repairs to the Church Fabric and heating apparatus involving an expenditure of about £200. The bells of the church are, according to the Diocesan Survey are unsafe for ringing and ringing of them has therefore been discontinued. (Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald - Sat 25 Oct 1930)

Love's Guide to the Church Bells of Kent Page updated: 17 May 2020