The Church Bells of the City of London

ST OLAVE, Hart Street

Photo DrL March 2005
8 bells + Sanctus
Tenor: 11-3-23 in G
Grid Ref: TQ334808
Frame: 1953 Mears & Stainbank
Retuned: Never subsequently retuned
Upstairs ringing room
Peals
?Sound clip
(BBC Radio 4 Bells on Sunday, 15th July, 2012)

DETAILS OF THE BELLS

Bell

Weight

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder

1

3-1-11 24½" G

1953

Mears & Stainbank

2

3-2-11 25⅛" F sharp

1953

Mears & Stainbank

3

4-0-14 27" E

1953

Mears & Stainbank

4

4-3-11 29⅜" D

1953

Mears & Stainbank

5

5-1-22 31⅜" C

1953

Mears & Stainbank

6

6-2-18 33" B

1952

Mears & Stainbank

7

8-1-6 36½" A

1952

Mears & Stainbank

8

11-3-23 40" G

1972

Whitechapel

Sanctus

1-1-12 18" C

1953

Mears & Stainbank
1.  

THESE TWO BELLS WERE
RECAST 1953, THUS
COMPLETING THE PEAL.

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LONDON

2.  

THE XVIITH CENTURY PEAL
WAS ENLARGED TO EIGHT BELLS
1929.

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LONDON

3.  

B. H. HUNT
C. W. MATHEWS
CHURCHWARDENS : ALL HALLOWS STAINING.

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4.  

C. A. RIVINGTON
C. R. WILLIAMS
CHURCHWARDENS : ST CATHERINE COLEMAN

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5.  

MEARS & STAINBANK
RECAST US FROM THE OLD BELL METAL
1952/3

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6. FIRST MADE 1662

CHARLES S. EASTWOOD
EARNEST W. CROCKER
} CHURCHWARDENS

1952

 
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7. A. POWELL, MILLER, RECOTR. FIRST MADE 1662. RE-MADE 1952.

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8. FIRST MADE 1662

FROM THE SAME METAL WHICH THE
FIRES OF WAR MELTED DOWN. 1941;
WE WERE RECAST 1952

MEARS
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LONDON

S.  

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EARLIER  BELLS

These are the bells that were destroyed in the War.

Bell

Weight
(in 1929, see note below)

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder

1 of 8

3-3-27 25" G

1929

Mears & Stainbank

2 of 8

3-3-23 26" F sharp

1929

Mears & Stainbank

3 of 8

4-2-11 27½" E

1694

James Bartlet

4 of 8

4-3-18 29" D

1662

Anthony Bartlet

5 of 8

5-1-14 30⅝" C

1662

Anthony Bartlet

6 of 8

6-3-6 32¾" B

1662

Anthony Bartlet

7 of 8

8-2-22 36¼" A

1662

Anthony Bartlet

8 of 8

11-0-2 40" G (390Hz)

1662

Anthony Bartlet

Clock

2 cwt approx. 22½" G

1784

There is some ambigiuty in the reports of the weight of the tenor bell of this old ring. The Whitechapel tuning book states that the bell came out the mould at 11-1-2, with the borings given as 0-1-5, giving a final weight as 10-3-25. This is consistent with the weight that was quoted in the Ringing World peal reports at the time. However, the borings note was subsequently altered to 0-1-0, which gives a despatch weight of 11-0-2. So dear reader, take your pick! (After the bells were destroyed, 48-2-0 of metal was recovered.)

The present tenor of 1972 replaces an earlier tenor as follows:.

Bell

Weight

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder

8 of 8

11-1-1 40" G

1952

Mears & Stainbank
1. MEARS & STAINBANK MADE ME 1929

THE GIFT OF ALDERMAN SIR CHARLES WAKEFIELD, BART.
2. MEARS & STAINBANK MADE ME 1929

TOM WELLARD, RECTOR
D. O. KERR
F. H. D. MAN
} CHURCHWARDENS
3.

THO : COPPING RECTOR ROBERT FVLLER RICHARD TILDEN  CH : WARDENS


IACOBVS BARTLET ME FECIT . 1694

4.
ANTHONY BARTLET MADE MEE 1662 [shield]

 
5.
ANTHONY BARTLET MADE MEE 1662 [shield]

 
6.
ANTHONY BARTLET MADE MEE 1662 [shield]

 
7.
ANTHONY BARTLET MADE MEE 1662 [shield]

 
8.
ANTHONY BARTLET MADE MEE WILLIAM GARFEILD WILLIAM ARNOLL CHVRCHWARDENS 16 [shield] 62

 
S.

1784


 

The inscriptions on the trebles are taken from the Ringing World, 2nd Aug 1929 when the dedication was reported. The arrangement on the bells is presumed.

The 1952 tenor was inscribed as follows:

8 FIRST MADE 1662

FROM THE SAME METAL WHICH THE
FIRES OF WAR MELTED DOWN. 1941;
WE WERE RECAST 1952

MEARS
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LONDON

HISTORY

1552

Record of 4 bells and a Sanctus ("Itm ther remanyth in the Stiple iiij greate beles and a Saunce bell").

1662

The old bells were recast into a ring of 5 by Anthony Bartlet.

1665

30th Jul

Samuel Pepys in his diary noted "It was a sad noise to hear our bell to tell and ring so often today either for death or burials: I think five or six time".

1666

The bells survived the Great Fire.

1694

A treble was added by James Bartlet to make a ring of 6. The new bell was hung by Mr Cole who also repaired the fittings of the other bells.

1708

Record of 6 bells.

1714

Record of "six large bells".

1785

28th Mar

The vestry ordered "a new bell in the steeple for the clock, the other broke".

1732-3

The top stage of the tower was rebuilt, necessitating the installation of a new bellframe. The bells were rehung by William Cole.

1891

30th Oct

Church reopened.

1928

8th Oct

John Taylor & Co inspected the bells, noting the diameters, frame plan and describing the fittings as "very old".

1929

Bells rehung and retuned by Mears & Stainbank. They were augmented with two trebles (the gift of The Lord Wakefield of Hythe) to make eight.  They were dedicated on 29th July (St Olave's Day). At the time, the back bells were described as the oldest peal available for ringing in the City of London (as St Bartholomew the Great was described as unavailable for ringing, as presumably were St Andrew Undershaft).

1941

May

Church damaged by enemy action and the bells were destroyed. Some of the metal was salvaged.

1952

3 stock bells were supplied for a new ring of 8 (these being the back 3).

1953

Bells 3-5 were cast for the church. In October the church ordered the two trebles, which were then also supplied. All 8 bells were hung in a new frame and first rung on Christmas Day.

1972

The tenor had come cracked and was recast by Whitechapel. An identical inscription was put on the new bell to the old.

GALLERY

Photo DrL March 2005 Photo DrL March 2005 Photo DrL March 2005

The Sanctus bell in the cupola on top of the tower.

2 views of the belfry.