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LEAMINGTON SPA All Saints 8, 12-3-16 in G

Grid Reference 151/320654 Leamington Spa Parish Church - Source M Chester
Postcode CV31 1EE
Recording
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 0945-1030
Practice Monday 1930-2100
Access via Clock Tower door in Priory Terrace

History

This church stands out in the middle of the town, just over the river from the council buildings. Once very much smaller, it was expanded greatly as the town prospered as a result of its spa. There has been much restoration of the Spa Centre recently.

The church has been adapted slightly to provide a room at the west end. It is worth looking round prior to ringing. Look for the model of the proposal for the completed church. The intention was for an even grander edifice.

The old church was a small building, consisting of chancel and nave, apparently of the 13th century, with a west tower added in the 14th century, to which period also belonged a large three-light window in the centre of the south wall of the nave; there was also a south porch of 17th- or 18th-century date. The church was first improved in 1825-6 when a new tower was built - and six bells installed. Further improvements from the 1840s were carried out under the grand schemes of the Rev. Dr. Craig, who in 1843 obtained an estimate for a 33cwt ten to hang in the central tower he intended for the church, c.£1,200. From the right angle you can spot easily that this tower only reached roof level. The new church is significantly bigger and grander than was the previous building. From about 1860 until 1889 the bells were hung in a temporary wooden belfry at the side of the church. They were afterwards stored in the crypt for 12 years until being rehung in the new tower in 1901.

At the 1901 restoration a new tower was built and the the bells were augmented by adding a treble and tenor and recasting the existing 4th. The frame and fittings are by Mears & Stainbank, 1902, restored in 1976-7 by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry who fitted new cast iron headstocks to bells 7 & 8 and rehung all the bells on ball bearings. The bells all have canons and the older ones have been quarter turned.

There is a clock bell (8½cwt) in the NW tower. It is by Hugh Watts II, 1628. It was one of the original ring of four, displaced in 1826 when the new ring of six was put up. It went to Christ Church, but came back to replace the 1848 clock bell (16-0-13) in 1957.

The tower entrance is inside the west door, to the right. The door used to enter the church itself depends on the time of your visit and could be at the west or down the north side of the church. via the Clock Tower door. There is a door bell at the base of the tower you can ring for entry on a practice night.

A busy town it is best during the daytime to find a pay and display car park rather than attempting to find a free space.

Details of the Bells

1 Mears & Stainbank, London  1901   4-0-10  26.00"
2 Thomas Mears II, London    1826   4-0-17  27.00"
3 Thomas Mears II, London    1826   4-3-15  28.50"
4 Thomas Mears II, London    1826   5-2-21  31.00"
5 Mears & Stainbank, London  1901   7-0-14  34.00"
6 Thomas Mears II, London    1826   7-2-14  35.00"
7 Thomas Mears II, London    1826   9-2-09  38.50"
8 Mears & Stainbank, London  1901  12-3-16  41.50"

Photo Gallery

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The Church in 1826 The Tower Under
Construction
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A View Showing the Clock Tower The Church - Looking East 
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The Ringers in 1953 The Clock Bell in 1957
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Christ Church c.1955 Christ Church Being
Demolished in 1959. 

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