The Church Bells

Restored in 1998 after an appeal for funds

Page created by Peter Hill

The six bells waiting to go into St Mary's to be re-hung.
Photo from Jane Cole
The inscription on this the Tenor Bell reads: This peal of bells was recast and rehung A.D. 1905. The cost was defrayed by public Subscription. Sinclair Carolyn MA Rector. F.C .Price & J. E. Heath - Churchwardens
Photo from Jane Cole
The 5th Bell. The inscription reads: Lord may this bell for ever be a tuneful voice o'er land and sea, To call thy people unto thee.
Photo from Jane Cole
The 3rd Bell. The inscription reads: When sweetly chimes this bell, O'er sea and hill and dell, May Jesus Christ be praised.
Photo given by Jane Cole
One of the 6 bells being pulled up into the bell loft from the Choir Vestry at the back of St Mary's Church
Photo given by Jane Cole
Cover of the service booklet at the Re-Dedication Service of the Bells held on 26th April 1998
Booklet given by Jane Cole

Bells in the tower were first installed in 1802; these had been cast by Thomas Mears of London. These however had become cracked and beyond repair. They were replaced by a fresh set of bells in 1905 which had been cast by Mears and Stainbank Foundry in London.

In 1998, these bells were sent away for restoration and re-tuning, money for which was raised by the Wivenhoe community, donations from charitable trusts and a grant from the Millennium Commission.  The restoration work was done by Whites of Appleton and the re-tuning by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

Each bell bears an inscription as follows:
Tenor:       This peal of bells was recast and rehung AD 1905.  The cost was defrayed by public subscription. Sinclair Carolyn MA Rector  F. C. Price & J. E. Heath, Churchwardens

5th Bell:     Lord may this bell for ever be a tuneful voice o’er land and sea, To call thy people unto thee.

4th Bell:    For the honour of God and the use of this Church, these bells were raised.

3rd Bell:    When sweetly chimes this bell O’er sea and hill and dell May Jesus Christ be praised.

2nd Bell:   Prosperity to this Church and Parish.

Treble:      May God bless all whom we call


To commemorate the 1998 restoration, a brass plaque has been placed on the tenor headstock which reads:

“This peal of bells was restored, re-tuned and rehung in 1998.

Revd. David Thomas                               Rector
John Williams                                           Churchwarden
Joan Barratt                                              Churchwarden
Adrienne Wood                                       Tower Captain

Restoration work by Whites of Appleton
Re-tuning by Whitechapel Bell Foundry


Technical details:

Tenor2′-11″1905Mears & Stainbank7-0-07
5th2′-77/,61905Mears & Stainbank5-1-08
4»2′ -53/81905Mears & Stainbank4-2-04
3rd2′-47/161905Mears & Stainbank4-1-02
2nd2′-23/81905Mears & Stainbank3-2-24
Treble2′-03/41905Mears & Stainbank3-1-13


History of the Bells

A bell for had been bought for the tower in 1564, the tower having been built around 1500 and plastered on its outside walls in 1563. The main bell was broken in 1590. There were five bells in 1768. In 1905 the peal of six bells referred to above replaced one of a similar number of 1802.

A church clock was mentioned in 1613 and, subsequently, a clock with a bell was presented by Matthew Martin (d. 1749).  To see a picture of this clock mechanism in the Wivenhoe Chapel Museum – click here

Source: British History On-line


This page was added on 09/12/2016.

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