The Church Bells of the City of London

ST PETER-UPON-CORNHILL

Photo DrL 9th July 2002
1 bell and Sanctus
Tenor: 10 cwt approx. in G sharp
Retuned: Never subsequently retuned
Frame: 17th Century timber frame.  Sanctus used to hang in frame in the spire.
Bell is hung for ringing but derelict & disused.  Sanctus bell unhung.
Tower Stages:
1. Ground: Service bell used to be rung.
2. Empty chamber containing sanctus on floor.
3. Belfry
Access: climb open staircase to a gallery in south east corner, then spiral stone staircase up to the belfry.  Ladder to the roof.
Formerly a ring of 5 prior to the Great Fire.

DETAILS OF THE BELLS

Bell

Weight

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder

Sanctus bell

2 cwt approx. 21" A

1772

Pack & Chapman

Service bell

10 cwt approx. 38" G sharp 1772 Pack & Chapman

INSCRIPTIONS

Sanctus PACK & CHAPMAN OF LONDON FECIT 1772
 
Service PACK & CHAPMAN OF LONDON FECIT 1772
 

HISTORY

1552

Record of 5 bells ("in the steple five belles and the sainctes bell").

1587

30th Apr.

The vestry resolved that Robert Mott was to be given the great bell (it being broken) to exchange for " a perfett good bell, and of good sounde, to agree with the reste", to hang it up and to guarantee it for a year and a day.

1587

25th Jun.

The vestry resolved to ask Robert Mott to take away the great bell that he hung "for that it was disliked of all the parish generally" and they decreed with him that "yf he had a good and prefect treble, they would have one of him reasonable."

1587

4th Jul.

Mott was paid for casting the great bell and for overplus of metal.

1604

8th Apr.

The vestry urged Mott's bell be accepted "because thought tuneable enough" and because "the steeple being old and crazie would surely without damage admit the great bell". The old bell was given as 20-14-17 and the new 17-2-22.

1620

21st Mar.

"The old clock ordered to the top of the steeple because the one on which the clock now striketh is found fault with, being so low that few of the parish can hear it."

1623

27th Jul.

Vestry records say that "the steeple ordered to be covered and the bells hung up".

1629

26th Jul.

The 2nd (of 5) was recast ("the second bell to be new cast and made tuneable like the rest").

1662

12th Nov.

The vestry ordered that a saints bell "to be hanged in the steeple over the other bells".

1666

Destroyed in the Great Fire.

1673

2nd Apr.

The vestry held at the Tabernacle (this being the temporary church) ordered a bell for it weighing about 1 cwt and workmen to make a wheel and frame. This remained the only bell for about 100 years.

1677-87

Church rebuilt with a brick tower of unusual and almost Italian style, of four stages with a timber dome, lantern and spire, crowned with a vane in the form of a key.

1708

Record of 1 bell.

1772

Present 2 bells cast. The smaller was hung immediately underneath the wooden spirelet at the top of the small dome above the tower.

1824

Record of 2 bells.

1889

3rd Nov.

Church reopened.

PHOTOGRAPHS

The service bell hung for ringing, but derelict.  It is unused.
 
The Sanctus bell sitting on the floor.    
Photo DrL 9th July 2002

This is an interesting picture of the two Cornhill towers, taken while the
building behindSt Peter's had been demolished and prior to rebuilding.