The Church Bells of the City of London

ST BOTOLPH-WITHOUT-ALDGATE

Photo DrL 25th May 2011

8 ringing Bells
Tenor: 25-0-7 in D
Retuned: 1966 Mears & Stainbank
Frame: 1966 Mears & Stainbank
Upstairs ringing room.
PEALS

DETAILS OF THE BELLS

Bell

Weight
(prior to 1966)

Weight
(after 1966)

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder

Treble

6-3-14 6-1-14 31" D

1744

Thomas Lester

2

7-2-14 7-0-0 32" C sharp 1744 Thomas Lester

3

9-0-24 8-0-22 35⅛" B 1744 Thomas Lester

4

11-0-19 10-1-0 38" A 1744 Thomas Lester

5

14-2-15 13-1-4 42⅛" G 1764 Lester & Pack

6

13-2-4 44" F sharp 1966 Mears & Stainbank

7

20-1-16 19-0-9 48" E 1764 Lester & Pack

Tenor

28-0-26 25-0-7 54" D 1764 Lester & Pack

The former 6th was cast in 1764 by Lester & Pack.
The former clock bell, which was probably removed after the

partial demolition of the spire after the war, was also cast in 1764 by Lester & Pack.

1. AT PROPER TIMES MY VOICE IL RAISE UNTO MY BENEFACTOR'S PRAISE. THOS LESTER FECIT 1744
 
2. THOMAS LESTER MADE ME 1744
 
3. 1744
T. KNIGHT T. C.
(incised)
4. THOMAS LESTER MADE ME A FOURTH TO BE 1744
 
5. LESTER & PACK OF LONDON FECIT 1764
 
6. LESTER & PACK OF LONDON FECIT 1764
RECAST
19 wc1951.jpg (2432 bytes) 66
MEARS, LONDON
7. LESTER & PACK OF LONDON FECIT 1764
 
8. HENRY BARLOW JOHN HIRST JOHN LEE THOS LAYTON CH:WARDENS 1764 LESTER & PACK OF LONDON
 

EARLIER BELLS

Bell

Weight

Diameter

Cast

Founder Fate
6 (of 8) 15-0-23 44" 1764 Lester & Pack Recast 1966
Clock Bell

4 cwt approx.

28" 1764 Lester & Pack
6

LESTER & PACK OF LONDON FECIT 1764

 
C

LESTER & PACK OF LONDON FECIT 1764

 

HISTORY

1418

Robert Burford, a bell founder, built the tower. He probably equipped it with bells.

1548

Church property was sold to raise money to buy a row of church houses. There was so much opposition to the sale of the bells that the houses could not be bought.

1551

Vestry approval was given to the sale of church plate and bells to purchase certain houses at the end of the churchyard. A later minute records that "some would not consent to the sale of the bells" and so there was not enough money for the purchase.

1553

The bells were rung for the accession of Queen Mary. The year after they rang for her wedding to Philip of Spain. There were probably five in number at the time.

1554

Princess (later Queen) Elizabeth was released from the Tower of London to a less severe prison in Essex. She is known to have heard the bells on her release. Four years later, on her accession, the bells rang again. Remembering her release and the ringing that accompanied it, she presented the church a set of silken bell ropes.

1574

The tenor rang for the burial of Thomas Kempe, bellfounder.

1587

The bells rang for the beheading of Mary Queen of Scots.

1588

20th Jun

The treble bell was "changed by Mr.Mott" (Robert Mot at Whitechapel).

1589

30th Jul

The second had become cracked, so it was recast by Robert Mot at Whitechapel. The new bell was hung by William Underell, sexton, for 12s.

1592

Tenor clapper repaired.

17th Cent.

The bells were augmented to 6.

1666

The church escaped the Great Fire.

1740

The church had become very dilapidated. George Dance the surveyor was called in and he advised that it would be better and cheaper to rebuild the church rather than repair it.

1741

The old church was pulled down.

1744

The new church and tower was consecrated after 5,536 2s. 8d. had been spent on it. A frame for 8 bells was installed in the tower together with 4 bells cast by Thomas Lester to form the front four of the octave.

1764

Four bells were cast by Lester & Pack to occupy the empty back four pits. A clock bell was also cast.

1836

26th Feb

The Times printed an article (following the fire at Spitalfields): "A fine bold peal of eight bells; tenor 28 cwt. In same key. Sexton the steeple-keeper, who appoints a deputy in the person of the gravedigger. These bells would, with the addition of two small ones, make a beautiful peal of ten; they are not rung by competent persons."

1890

John Warner & Co. provided new wheels, a new headstock for the treble and quarter turned the 5th, 7th and tenor bells.

1958

The 7th fell out of its pit and was damaged. After this, the bells were only chimed, although the tenor was rung up on rare occasions.

1965

The church was severly damaged by fire, and as part of the work of restoration, the bells were retuned and rehung in a new frame. The 6th had to be recast.

GALLERY

Photo DLC Photo DLC
The tenor (left) and other bells (above) in the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1966. The church as it appeared in 1739