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LOWER QUINTON St Swithin 6, 13-0-27 in F# (GF)

Grid Reference 151/184470 Quinton Church - Source
Postcode CV37 8SB
Affiliation Gloucester & Bristol Ass
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday Not Known
Practice Thursday 1930-2100


St Swithun's church in Quinton is one of the most impressive parish churches in south west Warwickshire. The building owes it's present appearance largely to fourteenth century rebuilding and extension, though it's origins are earlier, as seen in the late twelfth century round arches of the south nave arcade. Inside, are fragments ol fouteenth century glass, two medieval monuments, ancient woodwork and some attractive early twentieth century glazing by Comper's pupil Geoffrey Webb. The east window is Victorian and the work of Frederick Preedy.

The date of the second is uncertain. Chris Pickford's interpretation of the documentary evidence is that it dates from 1714, but Mary Bliss (Church Bells of Gloucestershire) thinks the bell looks more like one of 1743. Either date is possible. The third and fourth were recast at Gloucester by Thomas Mears in 1842 at a cost of £51/17/6, plus £9/0/0 to Charles and John Jacques, also of Gloucester for hanging the bells and providing the fittings. They are of fairly poor tone.

The H-frame and fittings are by Taylors, 1952 when the fifth, a Rudhall bell of 1714, was recast. It replaced a frame put up by Barwells of Birmingham in 1887. The fifth bell was cast without canons and those of the other bells have been removed and the bells quarter turned.

N.B. This tower used, (until changed in the 9th edition), to appear in Dove as Quinton. It not the Quinton that is on the outskirts of Birmingham. The church is in Lower Quinton, South Warks. The village was transferred to Warwickshire from Gloucestershire in 1931, but remains in the Gloucester Diocese and in the North Cotswold Branch of the G & B.

Details of the Bells

1 Abel Rudhall, Gloucester          1743   5-1-16  29.25"  1231.0Hz (D#-19c)
2 Abraham Rudhall, Gloucester      c1714   4-3-26  29.50"  1094.5Hz (C#-22c)
3 Thomas Mears II, Gloucester       1842   6-2-11  32.25"   974.0Hz (B-24c)
4 Thomas Mears II, Gloucester       1842   7-1-04  34.00"   915.0Hz (A#-32c)
5 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough   1952   9-1-09  37.00"   816.0Hz (G#-31c)
6 Abel Rudhall, Gloucester          1743  13-0-27  43.125"  724.0Hz (F#-38c)

 Photo Gallery

The Church - Looking East. Source: Aidan MacRae Thomson The Church - Looking West. Source: Aidan MacRae Thomson
The Church - Looking East The Church - Looking West

LONG ITCHINGTON Holy Trinity 4, 8½cwt in A - Unringable

Grid Reference 151/412651 Long Itchington Church - Source Aidan MacRae Thomson
Postcode CV47 9PN
Recording None Available
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals None
Sunday None
Practice None
Other Information Unringable


This church has a truncated spire, the upper stages having been removed after the steeple was badly damaged in a storm in 1762. The church consists of a chancel, nave, south aisle, west tower, north porch, and a vestry. The oldest part of the building is the south aisle, dating from early in the 13th century; the chancel, nave, and tower were built early in the 14th century, a clearstory was added to the nave in the 15th century and at the same time the nave arcade was rebuilt; the porch and vestry are modern. The church was restored in 1928. It is built of small roughly coursed limestone rubble with occasional squared blocks of red sandstone and red sandstone dressings.

The bells are hung in an old oak frame of c.1630, set diagonally in the tower. They are hung for deadrope ringing only, (full-circle, but with no handstroke pull), and have been long derelict. They are all maiden bells. The fittings are of local manufacture and appear to have been made in the early nineteenth century.

Tilley and Walters state that there were "6 bells" here in 1750, however this is not correct. This comes from an unreliable source and, indeed, the frame preceeds this date. They also suggest that the bells were ringable at the time of publication, 1910

Details of the Bells

1 Henry Bagley I, Chacombe  1670  5cwt   28.00"  1165.5Hz (D-14c)
2 Hugh Watts II, Leicester  1625  5½cwt  30.50"  1135.0Hz (C#-3c)
3 Henry Bagley I, Chacombe  1649  7cwt   32.00"  1035.0Hz (B-81c)
4 Hugh Watts II, Leicester  1636  8½cwt  35.00"   887.5Hz (A-15c)



Photo Gallery

The Church - Looking East. Source: Adian MacRae Thomson The Church - Looking West. Source: Adian MacRae Thomson  
The Church - Looking East The Church - Looking West  
Plan of the Church. Source: Bristish History Online
Plan of the Church  
long itchington bells1_small long itchington bells3_small long itchington bells4_small
long itchington bells2_small long itchington bells5_small 
Views of the bells - copyright Mark Carver-Smith

LITTLE COMPTON St Denys 5, 6-2-6 in Bb (GF)

Grid Reference 151/261303 Little Compton Church - Source: Mike Chester
Postcode GL56 0SA
Recording None Available
Affiliation Oxford DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday None
Practice None


This parish was originally in a detached portion of Gloucestershire until it was transferred to Warwickshire in 1844. It still lies within the Diocese of Oxford, though Tilley and Walters state that at the time of publication of their "Church Bells of Warwickshire" the church was in the Diocese of Gloucester. The tower is one that is "different" in that it has a saddleback roof.

The recorded history of Little Compton begins in the 11th century, but it is likely that the village had already existed for three or four centuries by this time. Centuries ago the village was known as Compton in Floribus (Compton in the Flowers.) The Church, with the Manor adjacent to it, belonged to the Priory at nearby Deerhurst re-founded in 1056 by King Edward the Confessor, an offshoot of the great Abbey of St Denys in Paris where French Kings are buried. In 1467 Deerhurst priory was suppressed and its property given to Tewkesbury Abbey, which was itself dissolved by King Henry V111 in 1539. The patronage of the living was handed to the newly founded Cathedral of Christ Church in Oxford. In 1541 the Diocese of Gloucester received the Church from the Diocese of Worcester and in 1919 the Parish of Little Compton (as it was then) became part of the Diocese of Oxford

The present building has 12th century origins and the saddleback tower built in the 14th Century is of particular interest. However, during 1863/64 extensive re-building took place, forming a new chancel and nave, under the supervision of the then Rector, the Revd. William H Marah. During the Civil War, which ended in 1648, the deposed Bishop of London, William Juxon lived in his family home, the Manor, next to the Church. When, during the Civil War, the King was executed, Bishop Juxon, who had also been Lord Treasurer of England, was the priest who accompanied him to the scaffold. The scenes of the execution are now represented in a beautiful stained glass window in the Lady Chapel of the Church. The Bible used by Bishop Juxon at the execution is on display at nearby Chastleton House, now owned by the National Trust. After the restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, Juxon was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, by Charles II. He died in 1663 and is buried in St John’s College, Oxford.

A complete ring of five of 1720 by Abraham Rudhall II, the treble of which was recast in 1810 (by John Rudhall, at a cost of £19/1/1 plus 18/- to William hunt for hanging it) and again in 1899 by Bond of Burford, at which time they rehung the bells in a new framework of steel girders and with new fittings. The treble was cast without canons and those of the other bells were removed.

They were rehung on ball bearings in 1970. The bells were removed for restoration in 1990 and sent to Whitechapel where they were retuned. However the cost of associated structural repairs to the tower delayed completion and the job was not finished until 1999. The treble was quarter turned and the rest one-eighth turned. They hang in a cast iron frame for six manufactured by Whites of Appleton.

There has been some hope that a treble may be added to complete the six, though nothing has been heard of about this for a while.

There is some parking by the church wall - enter via the door to the left of the tower in the picture.

Details of the Bells

1 H. Bond & Sons, Burford         1899  3-1-24  25.50"  1398.0Hz (F+1c)
2 Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester  1720  3-3-19  27.00"  1244.5Hz (Eb+0)
3 Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester  1720  4-1-07  28.00"  1175.0Hz (D+1c)
4 Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester  1720  5-0-11  30.25"  1046.7Hz (C+0c)
5 Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester  1720  6-2-06  33.75"   932.3Hz (Bb+0c)

Photo Gallery

The Church - Looking East. Source: Mike Chester The Chancel. Source: Mike Cox The Church - Looking West. Source: Rex Harris
The Church - Looking East The Chancel The Church - Looking West

LONG COMPTON SS Peter & Paul 6, 12-0-22 in F

Grid Reference 151/287330 Long Compton Church - Source: Mike Chester
Postcode CV36 5JJ
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday Not Known
Practice Tuesday 1930 - 2100 (2 & 4)
(1, 3 & 5 at Whichford)


One of many very pleasant villages in South Warwickshire, Long Compton has a very well cared for church.

The church consists of a long chancel, with a small south chantry-chapel now the vestry, nave, north aisle, south porch, and west tower. The building dates from the 13th century, the nave being probably early and the west tower later in the same century. Very early in the 14th century the north aisle was added and new windows like those of the aisle were inserted in the south nave-wall. It is quite likely that the chancel was rebuilt and enlarged about the same time, but most of its history in stone has been lost in modern restorations. The south porch is probably of the late 14th century. The clearstory was raised in the first half of the 15th century and a new roof provided. The carved corbels are interesting. Later in the 15th century the tower was heightened by another stage and the tiny chantry or sacristy south of the chancel was built. ¶There have been several modern restorations, the greatest being in 1862–3, when the chancel was very drastically restored, the western gallery removed, and the roofs repaired or reconstructed. Another reparation was done in 1900 and the tower was repaired in 1930. The west end of the church has been redevloped in recent times to give more facilities to the church

The bells were originally a complete ring of five or six by James (father) and Richard (son) Keene, only the two trebles remaining. The treble is the earliest bell with Richard Keene's initials, (the second having his father's) on it. No other bell has come to light that can be attributed to him before 1656. It can be speculated that the father was merely allowing the son put his name on the one or more of the bells; as did the Rudhalls at Tredington.

They were last retuned and rehung in a new cast iron frame by Taylors in 1956-7, truss 8.3.A.h  and layout 6.1, but reusing the fittings provided by Bond in 1924 when he recast two bells and rehung the bells in a new frame with new fittings.

The third and fifth were previously Henry Bagley III bells of 1731 at which time the two Keene bells were retained and four bells were cast/recast, one of which, now the fourth, subsequently required recasting in 1823. The tenor is nearer to F (F+31c) than the normally quoted F#. The bells go well and are well worth a visit.

It is also worth noting the pretty Sanctus bell turret over the chancel arch, containing an ancient bell. It is of 16th century manufacture, 13.625" in diameter, by an unknown founder. Revd H Tilley noted on his visit in 1879, revisited by H B Walters in 1907, that the belfry is "dirty and neglected" and that the "third is cracked".

Park on the main road by the church, if you can, or in one of the side streets nearby. There are yellow lines around the church and for a little way either side of it/  You will then walk through the thatched Lych Gate that is unusual in that is has an upstairs room as part of it. The tower entrance is on the south side of the church, or via the new rooms that have been built at the west end of trhe church in recent years.

Note that Little Compton, almost next door, is in the county of Warwickshire but NOT in the Diocese of Coventry.

Details of the Bells

1 James & Richard Keene, Woodstock  1652   5-0-22  29.00"   1195.0Hz (D+30c)
2 James & Richard Keene, Woodstock  1652   5-3-25  31.75"   1066.0Hz (C+32c)
3 Thomas Bond, Burford              1924   5-2-24  32.125"   947.0Hz (Bb+27c)
4 W & J Taylor, Oxford              1823   6-3-22  34.75"    895.0Hz (A+29c)
5 Thomas Bond, Burford              1924   7-2-18  36.875"   796.0Hz (G+26c)
6 Henry Bagley III, Chacombe        1731  12-0-22  41.375"   711.0Hz (F+31c)

Tilley & Walters speculate that the trebles were cast by Richard and James Keene in partnership.

Photo Gallery

The Church - Looking East. Source: Mike Chester The Church - Looking West. Source: Mike Chester compton_gateway_small
The Church - Looking East The Church - Looking West  The Gateway
The Chancel. Source: Mike Chester Plan of the Church. Source: British History Online The Ringing Chamber. Source: Mike Chester
The Chancel Plan of the Church The Ringing Chamber
The Treble. Source: Mike Chester The Second. Source: Mike Chester The Third. Source: Mike Chester
The Treble The Second The Third
The Fourth. Source: Mike Chester The Fifth. Source: Mike Chester The Tenor. Source: Mike Chester
The Fourth The Fifth  The Tenor 

LILLINGTON St Mary Magdalene 8, 9-0-18 in F#

Grid Reference 151/325673 Lillington Church - Source M Chester
Postcode CV32 7RG
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 0900-0930
Practice Tuesday 1930-2100


Lillington has gradually become almost a suburb of Leamington Spa through the infilling of the open space between the towns by housing. You can miss the church if you are careless. It is on the left of the main road as you are driving away from Leamington Spa.

The earliest surviving parts of the present building are the possibly pre-Conquest doorway now located between the Lady Chapel and Sacristy, and the south wall of the chancel dating to the 14th century.  The Perpendicular Gothic west tower is 15th century, built in about 1480. The remainder of the church is Victorian, built or rebuilt between 1847 and 1884. An octagonal meeting room in the churchyard was built in 1987

There were only three bells until 1927. The frame is of Pynkadoe, an African hardwood, with the exception of pit for the 4th which is hung on castd iron frames (to allow access from the staircase) and the third which has a metal X shaped gate end. This and the fittings are by Mears & Stainbank, 1927. The back three retain their canons, whilst the front five were cast with flat tops.

A pleasant ring of bells. The front five are interesting in that they fall within the period of time when Whitechapel were beginning to adopt "Simpson Tuning".

Work was carried out in early 2007 by Nicholson's, headstocks to 1, 2, 6, 7 & 8 being replaced, the back 3 being canon retainers, and the clapper throws evened out.

Details of the Bells

1 Mears & Stainbank, London   1927  3-3-16  25.00"  1525.5Hz  (F#+52c)
2 Mears & Stainbank, London   1927  3-3-24  26.00"  1425.5Hz  (E#+35c)
3 Mears & Stainbank, London   1927  4-2-24  28.00"  1274.5Hz  (D#+41c)
4 Mears & Stainbank, London   1927  5-1-27  30.00"  1140.5Hz  (C#+49c)
5 Mears & Stainbank, London   1927  5-3-01  32.00"  1015.5Hz  (B+48c)
6 Thomas Harrys, London      c1480  7-0-20  34.00"   942.0Hz  (A#+18c)
7 Hugh Watts II, Leicester    1625  8-0-22  36.00"   854.0Hz  (G#+48c)
8 Henry Bagley I, Chacombe    1675  9-0-18  38.50"   758.5Hz  (F#+43c)

Photo Gallery

lillingtoncanon_small lillingtonfourth_small lillingtonfourthstay_small
The style of canon retaining
headstock on the back 3 bells.
The Fourth in
its Metal Frame
The Fourth's stay -
the shortest on record?
The Church in 1805. Source: Wikipedia  
The Church in c.1805  

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