The Church Bells of the City of London

ST ANDREW UNDERSHAFT

andrew_undershaft.jpg (38882 bytes)

6 bells + clock bell
Tenor: 13-2-6 in G
Frame: 17th Century timber
Upstairs ringing room.
Bells now hung dead in their original frame.
Further reading:
"The Lost Bells of London (7) Other City Churches" by William T Cook. RW 2nd Mar 1973

DETAILS OF THE BELLS

Bell

Weight

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder

1

4-1-14 27⅝" E

1669

Anthony Bartlett

2

4-2-6 28?" D

1597

Robert Mot

3

5-1-21 30?" C

1597

Robert Mot

4

6-3-0 33⅜" B

1600

Robert Mot

5

9-2-14 37?" A

1650

Bryan Eldridge

6

13-2-6 41?" G

1597

Robert Mot

Clock

24"

1816

Thomas Mears II
1. ABackwardsN.jpg (750 bytes)THONY BARTLET MADE MEE. 1669
 
2.
Robertus mot_flower.jpg (1559 bytes) mot mot_cross.jpg (1384 bytes) me fecit x 1597
 
3.
Robertus mot_flower.jpg (1559 bytes) mot mot_cross.jpg (1384 bytes) me fecit 1597 Fig40.jpg (3143 bytes)
 
4.
Robertus mot_flower.jpg (1559 bytes) mot 8 me fecit mot_cross.jpg (1384 bytes) 1600 Fig40.jpg (3143 bytes)
 
5. BRYANVS ELDRIDGE ME FECIT. 1650
 
6.
mot_crown.jpg (1771 bytes) mot_crown.jpg (1771 bytes)
Robertus mot_flower.jpg (1559 bytes) mot mot_cross.jpg (1384 bytes) me mot_cross.jpg (1384 bytes) fecit mot_cross.jpg (1384 bytes) PT x 1597 Fig40.jpg (3143 bytes)
marie
 
C. T. MEARS OF LONDON FECIT 1816 (Whitechapel border)
  MEARS  
19 61
  LONDON  
 

BELL FRAME

Chris Pickford, one of the country's leading experts on bell frames, had this to say about the frame in this tower:

All of a piece, and of c.1630 to c.1650 – so pre-Civil War – and built for six bells. Hung clockwise. Three parallel pits (for bells 4-6 originally swinging N/S) on the north side – gallows-ended, with trusses consisting of sills, braces (14?") and long heads, with posts on the north side for the gallows ends. One jack brace in the east side of tenor pit. Two mouth-to-mouth pits (for bells 1 and 3 originally swinging E/W) in the middle – i.e. between the return section of the parallel pits on the one side and a long truss to the south of it. No lateral bracing apart from a timber between the heads separating the pits, which are both open-ended. The long middle trusses both have inverted braces. Further pit (for bell 2 originally swinging E/W) in the SW corner of the tower. The southern truss has one post (at the east) and a jack brace (west). Clearance grooves in the heads and braces, and also in the posts supporting the gallows ends. There are some carpenters’ marks.

HISTORY

1532

Church built.

1552

Record of 4 bells and a saunce.

1597

Certainly 3 of the bells were recast by Robert Mot, if not all of them.

1600

4th (of 6) (or maybe 3rd of 5) was recast by Robert Mot.

1650

5th (of 6) (or maybe 4th of 5) was recast by Bryan Eldridge.

1666

Church escaped the Great Fire.

1669

Treble of 6 recast or added by Anthony Bartlett.

1695

Top stage of tower was rebuilt.

1816

Clock bell recast by Thomas Mears. Early engravings suggest it was hung on a wheel. The present fate of this bell is unknown.

1830

The upper part of the tower was again rebuilt.

1868

Church clock supplied by Moore of Clerkenwell.

1883

Further alterations to the top of the tower were made by T. Chatfield Clarke.

1940

The bells were removed to the country for safety from the War.

1954

Once the War was over, it was supposedly found that the tower was no longer safe for the bells to be rung, so they were retuned and rehung dead for chiming only.

1983

A plaque was dedicated in the church in memory of Fabian Stedman.

In 2002, the upstairs ringing chamber and the clock room are in use as offices. The bells are all rehung "dead" on new wooden deadstocks with supporting ironwork (hooks through the canons). They were once clocked by wires to the clappers from a small chiming manual in the ringing room although the manual now lies disused in the bell chamber.

GALLERY

Photo Mar 2002 CJP Photo Mar 2002 CJP Photo Mar 2002 CJP
Photographs from the inside of the belfry showing the old wooden frame and the bells hung dead within it.    
Photo Mar 2002 CJP Photo Mar 2002 CJP
  A view of the 4th, cast in 1600 by Robert Mot. Another view of the 4th, cast in 1600 by Robert Mot.
The clock bell hanging from the ceiling.
 
The bells hung dead in their frame.
 
The tenor.
Photo Mar 2002 CJP
  An early engraving of the church showing the tower before the top was modified in 1830. A service bell can be seen on a wheel in the cupola at the top of the tower. The plaque that was given by the Ancient Society of College Youths in memory of Fabian Stedman, who is buried in the church.
   
 

The church un c.1910
(from Spitalfields Life).