The Church Bells of the City of London

ST SWITHIN, LONDON STONE
Cannon Street

Formerly 2 bells
Tenor: 4 cwt approx.
Church demolished 1962.
Formerly 5 bells before the Great Fire.

DETAILS OF THE BELLS

Bell

Weight

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder

1

1 cwt approx. 17"

1755

Thomas Lester

2

4 cwt approx. 26" 1680 James Bartlett

INSCRIPTIONS

1. 1755 {border arabesque}

2.
RICHARD PIERCE RICHARD POINTER CHVRCHWARDENS 1680 Fig44.jpg (1423 bytes)

HISTORY

The famous "London Stone", a solid block of oolite such as used by the Romans in their buildings, is set in a large stone case, protected by an iron grille, and let into the wall on Cannon Street. It originally stood on the south side of the street opposite St Swithin's Church until it was moved and set into the wall of the church itself (in 1798). According to Camden, it was a Milliarium or Milestone from which the British high roads radiated, and from which the distance on them was reckoned, similar to the one in the forum at Rome. The stone still stands in the wall of the office block that now occupies the site of the church.

1552

Record of 4 bells and a sanctus ("four bells and a saunce bell").

1603-4

Records mention ropes for 4 bells and a saunce bell.

1607

Records mention ropes for 4th and 5th bells, which implies perhaps 5 bells in the tower.

1608-9

Records mention "purchase of bells for quarter clockes" (4.9.0).

1661-2

Records refer to payments for ringing.

1666

The ancient church was destroyed in the Great Fire. A "parcell of bell mettle" was sold for 13.

1678

The church was rebuilt by Wren with a north west tower reaching a height of 150 ft.

1683

There was a payment to "Mr. Bartlett the bell founder (5.8.0)".

1552

Records show that there were 4 bells and a saunce bell.

1708

Record of 1 bell.

1897

Record of 2 bells (large and small).

1940

Church slightly damaged in the War.

1954

Parish united with that of St Stephen, Walbrook.

1962

Site sold (in 1960) and church ruins demolished.

WHAT IS LEFT

Photo DrL 1st Dec, 2002.

The Churchyard is preserved as an open area (Photo Dec 2002).

THE LONDON STONE

Photo ASCY Archive Photo DrL 2002
An old photo of the London Stone set into the wall of the church. The stone today set into one of the office buildings on Cannon Street (photo Dec 2002).