Untitled Document
St Andrew Undershaft
 

St Andrew Undershaft, Leadenhall St


Photo: Dickon R Love

  • 6 bells hung for dead in old ringing frame and disused
  • Tenor: 13-2-6 in G.
  • Grid Ref: TQ332811
  • Rung from: Upstairs Ringing Room
  • Frame: Ancient timber frame estimated to date from between 1630 and 1650 (Chris Pickford)
  • Diocese: London
  • Building Listed Grade: I. Click for Heritage details.

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned
Treble 4-1-1427⅝" E 1669 Anthony Bartlett, Whitechapel 1954 Mears & Stainbank
2 4-2-628¼" D 1597 Robert Mot, Whitechapel 1954 Mears & Stainbank
3 5-1-2130¾" C 1597 Robert Mot, Whitechapel 1954 Mears & Stainbank
4 6-3-033⅜" B 1600 Robert Mot, Whitechapel 1954 Mears & Stainbank
5 9-2-1437½" A 1650 Brian Eldridge, Chertsey 1954 Mears & Stainbank
Tenor 13-2-641¾ G 1597 Robert Mot, Whitechapel 1954 Mears & Stainbank

Old clock bell

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Clock bell3 cwt approx.24"1816Thomas Mears IINeverFate unknown.

History

1532 Church built.
1552 Record of 4 bells and a sanctus.. [1]
1597 3 of the bells were recast for certain by Robert Mot, if not all of them.
1600 4th (of 6) (or maybe 3rd of 5) was recast by Robert Mot.
1639 Reference to ringing on the old bells. [2]
1650 5th (of 6) (or maybe 4th of 5) was recast by Bryan Eldridge.
1666 The church escaped the Great Fire.
1669 Treble of 6 recast or added by Anthony Bartlett.
1695 The top stage of tower was rebuilt.
1816 The clock bell was recast by Thomas Mears. Early engravings suggest it was hung on a wheel. The fate of this bell is presently unknown.
1830 The upper part of the tower was again rebuilt.
1868 Church clock supplied by Moore of Clerkenwell. [3]
1883 Further alterations to the top of the tower were made by T. Chatfield Clarke.
1896 The only known written piece of ringing on the bells was given in "Bell News", which comprised touches of Doubles and Minor by the Homerton ringers on 20 Apr. There have been memories given verbally about ringing prior to the War during the 20th Century. [4]
1940 The bells were removed to the country for safety from the War.
1941 A A Hughes from Whitechapel quoted £43.10s. to lower the bells and store them at the base of the tower, suggesting alternative storage places to reduce the risk of damage from fire inside the building.
1954 Once the War was over, it was supposedly found that the tower was no longer safe for the bells to be rung, so they were retuned and rehung dead for chiming only.
1983 A plaque was dedicated in the church in memory of Fabian Stedman. [5]
2002 The tower was inspected by Dickon Love who noted that "The upstairs ringing chamber and the clock room are in use as offices. The bells are all rehung "dead" on new wooden deadstocks with supporting ironwork (hooks through the canons). They were once clocked by wires to the clappers from a small chiming manual in the ringing room although the manual now lies disused in the bell chamber. In the same year, David Cawley recorded memories that "in the sixties and I think later there were in the Belfry all the old wheels, headstocks &c taken off in 1940. Mears had a busy time, inter alia removing Southwark, the Strand, & Magnus to the ground, whilst Undershaft, Bart's the Great and the two larger bells at Bart's the Less were taken off down to Cleeve Abbey. They were all brought back and rehung about the same time. As to ringing at Undershaft, certainly the late Bill Rawlings had rung there: 'Yes, mister: very nice too, but hard work as they weren't rung often.'". In the same year, the tower was also inspected by Christopher J Pickford and Christopher J N Dalton who produced an authoritative report, particularly of the frame. [6]
[1] (Edwardian Inventory, 1552)
[2] "To the ringers 0.10.0". This will have been for the marriage of Richard Colchester to Elizabeth Hammersley at St Andrew Undershaft, London on 4 August 1639 (Gloucester Archives D36 A1 page 20)
[3] Church clock for "St.Andrew’s, Undershaft, Leadenhall Street" supplied by Moore of Clerkenwell, 1868 (Moore list 1877 and supplement to 1886)
[4] (Bell News, 9 May 1896 p.17)
[5] (Ringing World 28 October 1983 p.916 and 2 Dec.1983 pp.1004-5)
[6] All of a piece, and of c.1630 to c.1650 - so pre-Civil War - and built for six bells. Hung clockwise. Three parallel pits (for bells 4-6 originally swinging N/S) on the north side - gallows-ended, with trusses consisting of sills, braces (14?") and long heads, with posts on the north side for the gallows ends. One jack brace in the east side of tenor pit. Two mouth-to-mouth pits (for bells 1 and 3 originally swinging E/W) in the middle - i.e. between the return section of the parallel pits on the one side and a long truss to the south of it. No lateral bracing apart from a timber between the heads separating the pits, which are both open-ended. The long middle trusses both have inverted braces. Further pit (for bell 2 originally swinging E/W) in the SW corner of the tower. The southern truss has one post (at the east) and a jack brace (west). Clearance grooves in the heads and braces, and also in the posts supporting the gallows ends. There are some carpenters’ marks. (Report by Chris Pickford and Chris Dalton, 20 Mar 2002)

Articles

  • "The Lost Bells of London (7) Other City Churches", Cook, William T (The Ringing World) 23 February 1973
  • The belfry


    The inside of the belfry showing the old wooden frame and the bells hung dead within it.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Oct 2008


    Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Oct 2008


    Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Oct 2008

    The inside of the belfry showing the old wooden frame and the bells hung dead within it.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Oct 2008

    A view of the 4th, cast in 1600 by Robert Mot.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Oct 2008

    Another view of the 4th, cast in 1600 by Robert Mot.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Oct 2008

    The clock bell hanging from the ceiling.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Oct 2008

    The bells hung dead in their frame.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Oct 2008

    The tenor.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Oct 2008


    Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Oct 2008


    Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Oct 2008


    Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Oct 2008


    Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Oct 2008

    The church


    An early engraving of the church showing the tower before the top was modified in 1830. A service bell can be seen on a wheel in the cupola at the top of the tower.
    Photo:

    The church un c.1910
    Photo: Spitalfields Life

    Fabian Stedman Plaque


    The plaque that was given by the Ancient Society of College Youths in memory of Fabian Stedman, who is buried in the church.
    Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Oct 2008

    Love's Guide to the Church Bells of the City of London Page updated: 13 October 2019