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EXHALL St Giles 6, 6-2-6 in B

Grid Reference 140/340850 Exhall Church - Source M Chester
Postcode CV7 9AB
Recording
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 0900-0930
Practice Thursday 1930-2100 (Ex 3rd)
Other Information Church Website

History

An old church that is visible from Junction 3 of the M6 - not that it is too easy to get to it from there! Take the A444 towards Coventry. At the first roundabout, near The Ricoh Arena, turn right and take the last exit, signposted to Prologis Park. There are traffic lights almost immediately - straight on. At the next set of lights turn right and then go straight on, past The Hungry Horse Pub, for 6/700yds or so and then turn right towards the church, down Vicarage Lane - look for the signpost to direct you!

It consists of a square-ended chancel with vestry attached on the north side, nave, north and south aisles, and western tower; there is a small south porch. The nave contains three bays, and two timber roof trusses divide the chancel into three bays. The nave and chancel appear to originate from the 13th century, although the nave has been rebuilt in modern times, when extensive restorations were carried out to the chancel also. The tower appears to have been added in the 14th century, and subsequent additions have been recorded on a tablet under the window of the west wall of the north aisle which states that the north aisle was added in 1609 'as the burial place of the Hales family', the south aisle in 1842, and the vestry, with an extension of the north aisle, in 1885.

The church is thriving and is one of the few around the area with a top class choir. It even has a deputy organist! The bells are an easy going six. The three Smith of Edgbaston bells, cast in 1706 were recast and rehung, still as a three but in a 6-bell frame, at the beginning of the 20th century by James Barwell, and dedicated by the Bishop of Coventry on 21 December 1900. The Smith inscriptions were repeated on the new bells.

On installation, these bells were intended to be the front three of a heavier ring of six (tenor c.10 cwt in G). Some 20 years later they were indeed augmented to six as a memorial to those that fell in WWI. The 1900 scheme was modified in 1920 and two trebles and a tenor were added instead of three tenors, the 1900 treble being retuned down a semitone, (according to some sources now weighing 4-0-14; 4-1-14 was said to be the original weight.). The treble and second hang in pits of the 1900 frame intended for much larger bells and their headstocks are very long. The tenor bell was cast without canons, and the five smallest bells have 'Doncaster heads'.

The composite frame remains that installed by Barwell 1900. The fittings are of 1900 and 1920, with ball bearings fitted when the bells were rehung, the 4th bell's headstock being replaced, by Mears & Stainbank in 1957. Other relatively minor work was completed by Taylors in the early 1990s, including the replacement of the tenor bell's headstock.

The entrance is by the main South Door. There is a church car park on the opposite side of the road.

Details of the Bells

1 Mears & Stainbank, London       1920  3-0-25  23.50"  1645.5Hz (G#-16c)
2 Mears & Stainbank, London       1920  3-2-23  25.25"  1453.5Hz (F#-31c)
3 James Barwell & Co, Birmingham  1900  4-1-14  27.00"  1308.5Hz (E-14c)
4 James Barwell & Co, Birmingham  1900  4-2-20  28.50"  1228.0Hz (D#-23c)
5 James Barwell & Co, Birmingham  1900  5-2-14  30.50"  1086.5Hz (C#-35c)
6 Mears & Stainbank, London       1920  6-2-06  33.00"   966.0Hz (B-39c)

Inscriptions

1 M & S. LONDON (Whitechapel foundry trade mark with the initials AAH and RAH, and "AD 1570 AD 1920" around the mark)
Waist: A.D. 1920.
2 M & S. LONDON (Mark as treble)
Waist: A.D. 1920.
3 BARWELL FOUNDER BIRMINGHAM RECAST 21 DECR A.D. 1900
Waist: IOSEPH SMITH IN EDGBASTON MADE MEE 1706
Opposite: CHAS SIMMONDS M.A. VICAR / FRANCIS DUCK } / JOSEPH FLETCHER }CHURCHWARDENS
4 BARWELL FOUNDER BIRMINGHAM RECAST 21 DECR A.D. 1900
Waist: 1706 MR RICHARD SMART AND RICHARD RANDEL / CHURCHWARDENS
Opposite: (As third exactly)
5 BARWELL FOUNDER BIRMINGHAM RECAST 21 DECR A.D. 1900
Waist: 1706 I WILL SOUND AND CALL THE CONGREGATION
Opposite: (As third exactly)
6 MEARS & STAINBANK, FOUNDERS, LONDON(Trade mark as treble)
Waist: TO THE GLORY OF GOD / AND IN MEMORY OF THE MEN OF EXHALL, / WHO FELL IN THE GREAT WAR, 1914-1918 / SUBSCRIBED BY PARISHIONERS AND FRIENDS. / A.D. 1920.

Most of the information on this page has been provided by Chris Pickford

Photo Gallery

 The Church - Looking East - Source Aiden MacRae Thompson
The church - looking east

ETTINGTON Holy Trinity 4, 10½cwt in Ab

Grid Reference 151/267490 Ettington Church - Source: David Kelly
Postcode CV37 7TR
Recording
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals None
Sunday None
Practice None

History

There was, until quite recently, some debate about the ringability or otherwise of these bells. They were rung in the recent past but were not for the less experienced and had a period of time when ringing was not allowed. Recent work means that these bells are ringable, but with limited access due to their condition. There is plenty of room for a ring of six, should you wish to take on a project!

The frame is by John Waters of Kings Sutton, 1803. Fittings also by Waters, but overhauled and partly renewed when the bells and frame were moved from the previous church, dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury, to the present one by George Day of Eye in 1909. All the bells retain their canons and have been quarter turned.

These bells have hung in three different churches - in the mediaeval church in Ettington Park until 1803, in the new church, St Thomas', (tenor recast) on the Stratford Road (built in 1795-8 - the tower still stands. It has recently been converted into a residence) until 1909, and since then in the present church (church 1903, tower 1908-9). The note of the tenor is Ab, rather than the G quoted until analysis in 2009.  It is a little sharp for the other bells and "Dove" now has them as 1, 2, 3, 3b of 4. All but the tenor are "listed" bells.

The  current church was built of Bourton stone in 1903 in the 14th-century style and consists of a chancel, north tower and organ chamber, south vestry, and nave. The previous church was built in 1798, partly as the population of the village was in now living in this area, and demolished in 1913, the "Shirley Transept" being built in 1800.  The tower of this church has been converted into a private residence.

The original parish church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity are about 1½ miles to the south-west of the current church. It consisted of a chancel, nave, north and south transepts, north aisle to the nave, and a west tower. The south transept, restored in 1825 by E. J. Shirley, and the west tower still stand. The remainder is effectively a ruin

From the Ettington Park Website

"All that remains now are the tower, which is home to rare Horseshoe bats, the walls of the nave, and the chapel which houses the Shirley family's mausoleum, and which can still be used for blessings."

Details of the Bells

1 Edward Newcombe, Leicester            1595   5½cwt  31.50"  1055.5Hz (C+15c)
2 Edward Newcombe, Leicester            1595   7cwt   33.00"   987.5Hz (B+0)
3 Richard Purdue of Bristol (Banbury?)  1624   8¼cwt  36.50"   899.0Hz (A+37c)
4 John Briant, Hertford                 1803  10½cwt  38.75"   820.5Hz (Ab-21c)

Photo Gallery

ettington_tower_small ettington_old_small ettington_church_conversion_small
The first home of the
bells as it is today
Ettington, St Thomas of Canterbury
the second home of the bells.
The Second Church Following its Conversion
ettington_old3_small ettington_old2_small ettington_small
Inside St Thomas of Canterbury
shortly before demolision.
"The Shirley Pew"
The first home of the
bells in the 1920s.
The Dedication Stone
above the ringing room doorway
ettington_altar_small ettington_nave_small  
The Church Looking
Towards the Altar
The Nave  
ettington_treble_small ettington_2nd_small  
The Treble The Second  
ettington_3rd_small ettington_tenor_small  
The Third The Tenor  

ERDINGTON* St.Barnabas 8, 15-1-15 in F

Grid Reference 139/110917 erdington2_small
Postcode B24 9AY
Recording None Available
Affiliation St Martin's Guild
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 0930-1000
Practice Tuesday 1930-2030
Other Information Church Website

History

The church itself is in the shopping centre area of town. It was built in 1822-4, designed by Thomas Rickman, as a chapel of ease to Aston, consecrated in July of 1824. It became a parish in its own right in 1858. The church was enlarged in 1882-3 and re-ordered in 1985-6. Shortly after the church was opened a single bell, cast Thomas Mears in 1825 and weighing 12-2-7 (in F#), was installed for ringing in the tower.

The church was famous for its eight stained glass windows depicting scenes of the life of Jesus and stories from the scriptures, including the Raising of Lazarus, The Resurrection, The Good Samaritan and St Paul and St Barnabas, which were also designed by Thomas Rickman. All but one were destroyed in the 2007 fire. 

In 1890 a set of tubular bells was installed, but these did not last long. (They were moved to Water Orton, where they no longer remain.) The tubes, along with the single bell, were replaced by a ring of bells within 14 years. The ring hang in a two tier frame (5th above) manufactured by Taylors 1903. They were cast, all with flat tops, on 13 December 1903 and dedicated on 21 February 1904. They were given in memory of Mary Proctor Ryland, who died on 2 November 1903, and the faculty was issued on 22 December 1903. So it was a bit of a rush job!

They were rehung on ball bearings by Taylors in two stages, in 1946 (6-7) and 1959 (the rest). There are a few municipal car parks close to the church and the odd car is able to park in the churchyard itself. 

A major fire, believed to be arson, in October of 2007 destroyed the roof and interior of the church. The bells were left untouched. The church interior has been remodelled, work starting in January 2011, and re-opened in time for Christmas 2012. The work was carried out by Linfords, a company owned by a bellringer! As part of this work a cafe area as been recreated.

Details of the Bells

1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1903   4-3-12  26.75"   1411.0Hz (F+17c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1903   5-0-08  27.375"  1324.0Hz (E+7c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1903   5-2-22  29.875"  1179.0Hz (D+6c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1903   6-0-07  31.50"   1056.0Hz (C+16c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1903   7-1-27  34.25"    938.5Hz (Bb+11c)
6 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1903   7-3-17  35.50"    884.5Hz (A+9c)
7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1903  11-0-09  39.625"   792.0Hz (G+18c)
8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1903  15-1-15  44.50"    704.0Hz (F+14c)

Photo Gallery

 
Erdington Aisle - Source Vinnyman1 Erdington Interior - Source Vinnyman1
A closer view of
the new South Aislde
The church interior

ERDINGTON ABBEY (R.C.)* SS Thomas & Edmund 8, 15-3-16 in F

Grid Reference 139/112923 Erdington Abbey - Source David Kelly
Postcode B23 6QN
Recording
Affiliation St Martin's Guild
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 1010-1030
Practice Friday 1930-2100

History 

The intention was that this building would form just part of a much bigger Abbey. However this was never completed due to lack of funds. The church therefore is situated North-South, rather than the more normal East-West. Built by Charles Hansom, the steeple of the church is 117 ft high, which is also the length of the building. In 1876 Father Haigh handed over his church, parish and estate of four acres to the Benedictine monks from Beuron in Germany, exiled for their faith from their own country.

A single bell was placed in the tower in 1848. It was cast by Taylors of Loughborough and weighed 12-3-14 in E. Though a quotation for five more bells was soon asked of Taylors by the church it was not until 1877 that a ring was installed. They were a ring of eight (tenor 14-2-8 in F) cast by William Blews of Birmingham in 1877 and blessed on January 20th 1878. They were hung in a two-tier wooden frame, with bells 1, 2, 4 and 6 in the top tier and bells 3, 5, 7 and 8 below. The fittings were overhauled by Blews in 1883 and reopened on 15 January with a peal.

The original bells were recast on the occasion of the centenary of the church. The new bells were first rung on 10 June and the first peal was rung the following Saturday. They now hang in a cast iron frame and new fittings by Taylors, 1950. Bells 3, 4 and 7 hang above the other 5. They are a really good ring of bells; the sound they make is wonderful.

There is a small bell (3-3-10 in F) hung for chiming in the turret by the south door. It was originally hung for ringing.

There is a church car park, the entrance being just uphill from the Abbey.

(Most of the above information is quoted directly (with permission) from the research notes of Chris Pickford)

Details of the Bells

1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1950   4-1-00  26.375"  1383.0Hz (F-17c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1950   4-2-21  27.375   1306.0Hz (E-17c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1950   5-0-26  29.00"   1164.0Hz (D-16c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1950   6-0-07  31.00"   1037.0Hz (C-16c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1950   7-0-26  33.625"   924.0Hz (Bb-16c)
6 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1950   8-0-27  35.50"    871.0Hz (A-18c)
7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1950  11-0-06  39.125"   777.0Hz (G-16c)
8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1950  15-3-16  44.125"   692.0Hz (F-16c)

Details of the Previous Bells

1 William Blews & Sons, Birmingham  1877   5-0-15  27.75"   1460.0Hz (F+76c)
2 William Blews & Sons, Birmingham  1877   5-0-06  28.50"   1367.0Hz (E+63c)
3 William Blews & Sons, Birmingham  1877   5-0-22  29.625"  1193.0Hz (D+27c)
4 William Blews & Sons, Birmingham  1877   6-2-20  32.375"  1077.0Hz (C+50c)
5 William Blews & Sons, Birmingham  1877   7-2-11  34.625"   964.0Hz (Bb+58c)
6 William Blews & Sons, Birmingham  1877   8-2-07  36.25"    895.0Hz (A+29c)
7 William Blews & Sons, Birmingham  1877  11-2-04  40.00"    792.0Hz (G+18c)
8 William Blews & Sons, Birmingham  1877  14-2-08  44.00"    704.0Hz (F+14c)

Photo Gallery

The Abbey - Looking East - source Aiden MacRae Thompson
The Abbey - Looking "East"

EDGBASTON* St Bartholomew 8, 10-0-14 in G (GF)

Grid Reference 139/057847 Edgbaston Church - Source M Chester
Postcode B15 3BT
Recording
Affiliation St Martin's Guild
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 0945-1025
Practice Wednesday 1930-2100
Other Information Regular ringing term time only

History

This church was originally a dependent chapelry of Harborne, Staffs, becoming a parish in its own right around the time of the reformation. Little remains of the old church, several rebuilding schemes being enacted in the 19th century. Going out of Birmingham centre you pass the cricket ground on your right and at a large traffic light controlled crossroads you go straight on up the hill. Turn left at the top and you are at the church. There is a car park to the west of St Bartholomew's, but this is now owned by the local golf club! You can park on the dual carriageway on the opposite side to the church, but you cannot turn right at the lights to do so! From this side you can also follow the road to the left at the roundabout at the east end of the church and then immediately left to find other parking.

The single level lowside cast iron frame and fittings are by Taylors, 1927. None of the bells have been turned and all were cast with flat tops.

By 1898 there were 5 bells, the back 4 by Matthew Bagley, 1685 with a treble by Thomas Pyke of Bridgwater, 1781. In this year Charles Carr of Smethwick recast the treble and added a further bell to make 6, tenor 7-2-26 in A (851Hz). All were recast in 1927.

These bells, which sound and ring well, form the home ring of the Birmingham University Society of Change Ringers

Details of the Bells

1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1927   4-1-06  25.00"  1607.0Hz (G+43c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1927   4-3-02  26.00"  1515.0Hz (F#+40c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1927   4-1-22  27.00"  1348.5Hz (E+39c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1927   4-1-24  28.00"  1202.0Hz (D+40c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1927   4-2-26  29.50"  1071.0Hz (C+40c)
6 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1927   5-2-00  31.00"  1001.5Hz (B+24c)
7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1927   7-1-16  34.00"   901.0Hz (A+41c)
8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1927  10-0-14  38.50"   802.5Hz (G+40c)

Details of THE PREVIOUS Bells

1 Charles Carr, Smethwick         1898   4-1-10  27.25"
2 Charles Carr, Smethwick         1898   4-3-32* 27.75"
3 Matthew Bagley I, Chacombe      1685   4-1-01  28.25"
4 Matthew Bagley I, Chacombe      1685   4-3-25  29.75"
5 Matthew Bagley I, Chacombe      1685   5-2-05  31.50"
6 Matthew Bagley I, Chacombe      1685   7-2-26  35.00"
*Weight as given by Tilley and Walters

Photo Gallery

Edgbaston - Looking East - Source John Dalkin Edgbaston - Looking North - Source Aiden MacRae Thompson
The church - looking east The Church - looking south

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