The Church Bells of the City of London

ST SEPULCHRE-WITHOUT-NEWGATE

Photo DrL Aug 2002

12 Ringing Bells + Service Bell (hung dead)
Tenor: 28-2-16 in C sharp
Frame: 1984 Whitechapel
(former frame 1739 Robert Catlin preserved)
Retuned: 1984 Whitechapel
Grid Ref.: TQ318814
Upstairs Ringing Room
Peals

DETAILS OF THE BELLS

Bell

Weight

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder

Treble

6-0-16

26"

G sharp

1984

Whitechapel

2

6-2-0

27"

F sharp

1984

Whitechapel

3

6-2-10

30"

E sharp

1807

Thomas Mears II

4

5-2-26

29"

D sharp

1739

Samuel Knight
5 6-2-7 32" C sharp 1739 Samuel Knight
6 7-0-12 33" B sharp 1984 Whitechapel
7 8-1-6 35⅞" A sharp 1739 Samuel Knight
8 10-2-25 40⅜" G sharp 1830 Thomas Mears II
9 12-1-22 42" F sharp 1804 Thomas Mears I
10 13-3-15 43" E sharp 1739 Samuel Knight
11 17-3-6 47⅞" D sharp 1739 Samuel Knight
Tenor 28-2-16 56" C sharp 1830 Thomas Mears II
Sanctus 1698 William Eldridge Snr
1.  

GIVEN BY PAST-MASTERS
OF
THE ANCIENT SOCIETY OF COLLEGE YOUTHS

(decorative border)

19

wc1981.jpg (2438 bytes)

84

WHITECHAPEL
2.  

GIVEN IN LOVING MEMORY
OF
WILLIAM AND WINIFRED WRIGHT
OF
WALTHAMSTOW
BY THEIR SONS
PETER, DAVID AND COLIN

(decorative border)

19

wc1981.jpg (2438 bytes)

84

WHITECHAPEL
3. (Whitechapel border) THOMAS MEARS & SON OF LONDON FECIT 1807 (Whitechapel border)
 
4. 1739
 
5. S v K v 1739
 
6. S K 1739

RECAST BY THE ARCHERS OF EUROPE
IN MEMORY OF
SIR ROGER ASCHAM
1515 - 1568
TUTOR TO ELIZABETH I AND
FOUNDING FATHER OF MODERN ARCHERY
WHO IS BURIED WITHIN THIS CHURCH

(decorative border)

19

wc1981.jpg (2438 bytes)

84

WHITECHAPEL
7. S v K v 1739
 
8. T. MEARS OF LONDON FECIT 1830.
 
9. (Whitechapel border) THOMAS MEARS OF LONDON FECIT 1804 (Whitechapel border)
 
10. 1739
 
11.
SAMUEL KNIGHT CAST US ALL & ROBERT CATLIN MADE THE FRAME & HUNG : US ALL 1739  sk_leaf.jpg (5438 bytes)sk_leaf.jpg (5438 bytes)sk_leaf.jpg (5438 bytes)fleur.jpg (998 bytes) `
 
12. T. MEARS OF LONDON FECIT : JOSEPH HEARN THOS HENRY FENTON AND CHARLES THOS DUPREE CHURCH WARDENS RECAST 1830.
 
S. W E ME FECIT 1698
 
 

HISTORY

1539 On surrender of the Priory of St Bartholomew to the Crown, 6 of the 11 bells of the Priory were sold to St Sepulchre's. (The remaining 5 are still at St Bartholomew the Great.) All 11 were probably cast by Thomas Bullisdon about 1510.
1552 Record of 6 bells.
1666 All bells melted in the Great Fire. Enough metal to cast 3 bells was salvaged.
1667 Easter John Hodson of Bishopsgate (described in the Vestry Minutes as a carpenter) cast 6 bells and made the frame for them.
1671 Clock & chimes made by Mr Wyse, "The iron Barrell to be for eight bells". The churchwardens accounts show frequent amounts paid out at about this time for work on the bells, including new clappers and ropes, etc. Some of the bells appear to have been faulty.
1677 2 new small bells cast, apparently by Mr Darby making 8. He could have been Michael Darbie of Southwark or John Darbie of Ipswich.
1690 The College Youths rang the first ever touches of Grandsire Triples on the bells and completed the first ever peal of 5040 changes (Plain Bob Triples).
1695 Tenor cracked and recast.
1698 2 new bells cast by William Eldridge Senior of Chertsey making the peal up to 10.
1739 All the bells except the treble were recast (the treble remains the present Sanctus bell) by Samuel Knight. The frame was made by Robert Catlin.
1741 7th April Society of Eastern Scholars (founded 1733) rang the first ever peal of Treble Bob Royal. This peal was afterwards found to be false.
30th May The College Youths rang a true peal of Treble Bob Royal.
1783 Newgate prison acquired its own bell and the great tenor was no longer rung from 6-10 a.m. on execution mornings (though some authorities think it was rung up to the time public executions ceased in 1868).
1804 7th recast by Thomas Mears II.
1807 Treble recast by Thomas Mears II.
1829 Tenor fell while ringing the Lord Mayor processed past the church on Lord Mayor’s Day. This bell weighed 29-2-0.
1830 Tenor and 6th recast by Thomas Mears II. The tenor weighed 31-0-4.
1886 One of the bells was rehung (unknown which) and the 3rd, 4th and 5th were quarter turned by John Warner & Sons.
1905 Bells rehung.
1979 The tower was cleaned up and the bells rung for the first time in 40 years.
1984 The 4th was recast, remainder tuned and rehung in a new frame together with 2 new bells to make 12.  They were blessed on the floor of the church on Tuesday 14th May 1985 by the Revd Arthur Brown and commissioned in the presence of the Lord Mayor on Tuesday 11th June 1985.

GALLERY

Photo DrL 29th March 2003 Photo DrL 29th March 2003 Photo DrL 29th March 2003
Treble bell donated by the Ancient Society of College Youths. 2nd donated by William & Colin Wright. The Samuel Knight 11th with interesting markings of coins, leaves, fleur de lys and flower.
Photo DrL 29th March 2003 Photo DrL 29th March 2003
The top tier (with the 3rd and 6th). Another view of the belfry. Eleanor Kippin standing on the 8th.
Photo DrL 29th March 2003 Photo DrL 29th March 2003 Photo DrL 29th March 2003
A view of the 2 tiers. On the storey above the bells, the old timber frame (that formerly housed the original ring of 10) is preserved.

Another view of the old frame.

 

Photo DrL 29th March 2003
Mark Humphreys standing next to the Service Bell, hung dead in its own frame above the old timber frame. This bell was formerly the treble of the ring of 10 before it was replaced by a new bell in 1739. A photo taken in the 1960s of the bells in the old frame.

 

Another 1960s photo of the Sanctus bell.
 
Here is a genuine Victorian Urinal that was used by the ringers, located behind a door into the nave roof.    
The following pictures were taken during the 1979 clean up and in the run up to the
1986 restoration and augmentation.
They were taken by Stephen Waters and are stored in the ASCY Library.
The church as it appeared then. Peter Furniss and Nigel thomson surveying the scene, before starting the clean-up. A bit of a mess in the ringing room.
General view of the ringing room.. Another general view. The old clock in situ before removal.
The tenor, complete with 40 years of pigeon droppings. Another view of one of the old bells. Nigel Thomson, Gareth Davis and Peter Furniss about to start work removing some of the mess.
The Sanctus bell. Gareth Davis cleaning up the tenor. At the back: Peter Furniss and Chris Pickford. Front row: Nigel Thomson, Gareth Davis, Steve Waters, Stephen Ivin, Charles Brown (St Seps Treasurer), Andrew Wilby, Andrew Stubbs, Clarke Walters, Brian Threlfall and Alan Frost.
Taken on Monday 23rd July 1979 (marked on photo as "?") after the first ring on the bells for about 40 years.
Some of the workers: Gareth Davis, Peter Furniss, Nigel Thomson, Andrew Wilby and Steve Waters. Chris Pickford, Gareth Davis, Peter Furniss, Nigel Thomson, Andrew Wilby and Steve Waters. Andrew Wilby and Steve Waters, taken on Monday 23rd July 1979.
Andrew Wilby posing on the tenor box! Approximately where the 7th is now in the new ring.