Untitled Document
      Love's Guide to

The Bells of the City of London
 

,


Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date FounderRetuned
® 1 Fabian 4-1-826" G♯ 1955 Mears & Stainbank, WhitechapelNever
® 2 Dunstan 4-2-1027" F♯ 1955 Mears & Stainbank, WhitechapelNever
® 3 Tom 5-1-2328¾" E 1955 Mears & Stainbank, WhitechapelNever
® 4 Anthony 5-3-329¾" D♯ 1955 Mears & Stainbank, WhitechapelNever
® 5 Samuel 6-0-631¼" C♯ 1955 Mears & Stainbank, WhitechapelNever
® 6 William 7-1-1534" B 1955 Mears & Stainbank, WhitechapelNever
® 7 Dan 9-1-1936¾" A 1955 Mears & Stainbank, WhitechapelNever
® 8 Boy 10-1-1438¾" G♯ 1955 Mears & Stainbank, WhitechapelNever
® 9 Faithful 14-0-2743" F♯ 1955 Mears & Stainbank, WhitechapelNever
® 10 Boom 21-1-2349" E 1979 Whitechapel Bell FoundryNever
Flat 4th Henry 6-0-2130½" D 1955 Mears & Stainbank, WhitechapelNever
Sanctus 2-2-1922¾" E 1588 Robert Mot, WhitechapelNever

®  - Hung for full circle ringing
 - Hung dead

Bellframes

Position
Frame Bells Year Maker Material Truss(es) Local
Layout
Lower tier 1 1,2,3,4,8,9,10 1955 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Cast iron
8.3.A

Upper tier 2 5,6,7,Flat 4th, Sanctus 1955 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Cast iron
8.3.A

Tenor recast in 1979

Bell Weight* Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Tenor (of 10)21-1-1749"E1955Mears & StainbankNeverRecast 1979

* Source of weight figures: F E Robinson

The ring of 10 lost in 1941

Bell Weight Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Treble (of 10)4¼ cwt approx.26"1844C OliverNeverRecast 1955
2 (of 10)5½ cwt approx.28"1844C OliverNeverRecast 1955
3 (of 10)5¾ cwt approx.30"1693William & Philip WightmanNeverRecast 1955
4 (of 10)6½ cwt approx.31"1683William & Philip WightmanNeverRecast 1955
5 (of 10)7¼ cwt approx.32½"1843C OliverNeverRecast 1955
6 (of 10)9 cwt approx.35½"1693William & Philip WightmanNeverRecast 1955
7 (of 10)11¾ cwt approx.39"1693William & Philip WightmanNeverRecast 1955
8 (of 10)12½ cwt approx.42"1693William & Philip WightmanNeverRecast 1955
9 (of 10)20 cwt approx.46¾"1693William & Philip WightmanNeverRecast 1955
Tenor (of 10)24 cwt approx.53"1693William & Philip WightmanNeverRecast 1955

Bell recast in 1843

Bell Weight Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
3 (of 8)1693William & Philip WightmanNeverRecast 1843

History

1680 The church was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren, opened 1682.
1693 A ring of 8 bells was cast by William and Philip Wightman and hung in the tower as the gift of Edward Clark. The total weight (according to a plaque in the porch) was 4t. 15c.2q. 8lb. [1]
1708 Record of 8 bells in the tower, described as "noble". [2]
1714 Record of the 8 bells (along with a Sanctus). [3]
1719 The steeple was added to the tower by James Gibbs, completed the following year.
1721 The clock was installed by Langley Bradley.
1843 The 3rd (of 8) was recast by C. Oliver.
1844 The bells were rehung in a new frame and 2 trebles were added by C. Oliver to make the ring upto 10.
1867 It was recorded that the sanctus bell was fitted with a wheel, although it hung disused in the upper part of the steeple.
1919 The bells were retuned and rehung in a new steel frame and dedicated on 17 July by the Rt Rev'd Taylor Smith, General-Chaplain of the Forces, in the presence of Queen Alexandra. They had been silent for 7 years owing to the poor state of the frame. In those days the bells were rung from the first level (i.e. 2 levels down from the present ringing room). The belfry was on the 5th level.
1941 On 10 May, the church was almost destroyed by bombing and the bells were damaged. They were taken down from the burnt out tower and stored in the porch ready to be taken away for safe keeping, but were then destroyed by a further attack. The remains were stored in a brick shed pending recasting.
1955 A new ring of 10 bells was cast by Mears & Stainbank at Whitechapel. These bells included a semitone bell hung dead, used by the new carillon machine.
1957 The bells were hung in a new cast iron frame in the tower by Whitechapel who also installed the carillon. The clock was installed by Thwaites and Reed. The bells were brought down one level (to Level 4) and the new ringing room was brought up two levels to Level 3. The bells were hung in 2 tiers, with 5, 6, 7, the D bell and the sanctus bell on the upper tier. They were dedicated on 24 Jan.
1958 The restored church and bells were consecrated.
1979 The tenor sustained damage by being rung after the tolling hammer had been interfered with. It wrapped around the frameside, cracking it and breaking one of the bearing houses. A lump was knocked from the lip of the bell and a crack started in the crown. Repairs were carried out but over succeeding years the crack travelled from the crown of the bell and over the shoulder. It was recast in 1979.
2004 All the bearings were replaced, runner boards and pulleys. 4 clappers had their tops refitted.The work was done by Whitechapel.
2005 The tower was hit by lightning, burning out the carillon machine and clock, both of which were replaced. The new machine is capable of playing 60 tunes.
[1] The eight bells in this steeple were cast by Will. & Phill.Wightman, their Majesties Founders, Anno Dni. 1694, in the Tyme of Wm. Davis and Edwd.Clarke, and finished when Edwd. Clarke and Hugh Mills were Churchwardens. Weight 4t. 15c.2q. 8l. The gift of Edwd. Clarke. (Brass plaque in the porch)
[2] "8 noble bells to ring in a peal" ()
[3] "9 good bells" ()

Articles

  • "Central Council Meeting London 1972: St Clement Danes, Strand", Unattributed (The Ringing World) 26 May 1972
  • "Dedication at St Clement Danes", Unattributed (The Ringing World) 7 March 1980
  • The belfry


    The louvres at the top of the tower, where the old bellframe used to hang. Visible here is the concrete ring beam installed after the War.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 25 June 2013


    Photo: Dickon R Love, 25 June 2013

    View of the bells from above.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 25 June 2013


    Photo: Dickon R Love, 25 June 2013

    The top tier of bells: 5, 6 and 7, flat 4th and sanctus.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 25 June 2013

    1588 sanctus bell.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 25 June 2013

    A view of the roof space.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 25 June 2013

    The lower tier of bells.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 25 June 2013

    The lower tier of bells.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 25 June 2013

    An attempt to photograph as many of the bells as possible in the single frame.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 25 June 2013

    The ringing room


    The ringing room.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 25 June 2013

    The ringing room.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 25 June 2013

    The dedication of the new tenor, 1979



    Photo: Alan Taylor, 1979


    Photo: Alan Taylor, 1979


    Photo: Alan Taylor, 1979


    Photo: Alan Taylor, 1979


    Photo: Alan Taylor, 1979


    Photo: Alan Taylor, 1979


    Photo: Alan Taylor, 1979


    Photo: Alan Taylor, 1979


    Photo: Alan Taylor, 1979

    Old engravings


    The church prior to erection of the current spire.
    Photo:
    Recent Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2023-02-035088 West Bridgford Delight Major
    2023-02-035040 Ardessie Surprise Royal
    2023-02-035040 Doubles (2m)
    2023-02-025040 Surprise Minor (7m)
    2023-02-025040 Yorkshire Surprise Royal
    2023-02-025040 Surprise Minor (7m)
    2023-02-015120 Winford Surprise Major
    2023-02-015040 Surprise Minor (7m)
    2023-02-015056 Cambridge Surprise Major
    2023-02-015152 Ribblesdale Delight Major
    2023-02-015152 Farleigh Castle Delight Major
    2023-02-015040 Surprise Minor (7m)
    2023-01-315152 January Surprise Major
    2023-01-315152 Spliced Surprise Major (19m)
    2023-01-315088 Spliced Surprise Major (10m)
    2023-01-315088 Anglesey Surprise Major
    2023-01-315040 Minor (3m)
    2023-01-315088 Ememem Delight Major
    2023-01-305007 Stedman Cinques
    2023-01-305152 Spliced Surprise Major (4m)
    2023-01-295040 Cambridge Surprise Royal
    2023-01-295024 Spliced Surprise Major (4m)
    2023-01-295033 Bristol Surprise Major
    2023-01-295760 Spliced Surprise Minor (41m)
    2023-01-295040 Metro Alliance Major
    Recent Quarter Peals
    The most recent performances, according to BellBoard.
    2023-02-041272 Spliced Surprise Minor (2m)
    2023-02-031280 London Surprise Major
    2023-02-031260 Plain Bob Triples
    2023-02-031260 Plain Bob Minor
    2023-02-031280 Spliced Surprise Major (4m)
    2023-02-031250 Yorkshire Surprise Major
    2023-02-031260 Stedman Triples
    2023-02-031296 Wearmouth Surprise Minor
    2023-02-031320 London Delight Minor
    2023-02-031260 Devils Bridge Bob Minor
    2023-02-031272 Oxford Treble Bob Minor
    2023-02-031344 Speedball Surprise Major
    2023-02-031260 Doubles (2m)
    2023-02-031320 Surfleet Surprise Minor
    2023-02-031296 Bourne Surprise Minor
    2023-02-031260 Doubles (5m)
    2023-02-031264 Plain Bob Major
    2023-02-031296 Cambridge Surprise Minor
    2023-02-031280 Spliced Surprise Major (7m)
    2023-02-031320 Westminster Surprise Minor
    2023-02-031260 St Clement's College Bob Minor
    2023-02-031260 Doubles (2m)
    2023-02-031260 Plain Bob Doubles
    2023-02-031287 Stedman Caters
    2023-02-031320 Snowdrop Treble Bob Minor
    Full list of peals on Bellboard here
    Full list of quarters on Bellboard here


    Love's Guide to the Church Bells of the City of London Page updated: 4 February 2023