Untitled Document
St Bartholomew the Less
 

St Bartholomew the Less, Smithfield


  • 3 bells hung dead in old ringing frame and rung with Ellacombe hammers
  • Tenor: 6¾ cwt approx. in B.
  • Grid Ref: TQ318816
  • Frame: Late 16th Century. Long-headed with king posts, curved braces from post to sill, end-posts, and curved braces from braces to end-posts.
  • Diocese: London
  • Building Listed Grade: II*. Click for Heritage details.

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned
Sanctus 1¾ cwt approx.19⁷⁄₁₆" B♭ 1825 Thomas Mears II Never
Treble 3-2-1226" D♯ 1869 Mears & Stainbank, Whitechapel Never
2 5-0-029¼" C♯ 1390 John Langhorne Never
Tenor 6-3-033½" B 1420 Richard Crouch Never

How the bells are tuned

History

c 1380 Date of the current middle John Langhorne bell, and according to Walters, the former treble was also a similarly dated Langhorne bell.
c 1420 15th Cent Date of tower (10¼ feet square). The current tenor dates from this period.
1789 The interior of the church entirely remodelled by the younger Dance. The frame probably dates from this time. It has pits for 5 bells (4 parallel and 1 transverse), all of which have been occupied at some point.
1823 Church practically rebuilt.
1825 Sanctus bell cast.
1869 The treble of the 3 bells was recast by Whitechapel. [1]
1941 The 2 larger bells were taken to Cleeve Abbey for safety. They were returned and hung dead in the frame. Some years later (1970s-2000s, not known) the Sanctus bell was removed from its pit between the main frame and the louvre centre post and hung in one of the empty pits for swinging. [2]
1951 The bells were returned to the belfry and hung stationary with chiming hammers. [3]
[1] W.H.Cross, St.Bartholomew's Hospital. To a Bell 3-2-12 @ £70/0/0 £25.5.0 taking down old bell, fitting stock & Clapper, hanging new bell, inscription & all charges £5. Total £30.5.0" "W.H.Cross, St.Bartholomew's Hospital. By old bell 3-1-20, Draft for waste dirt &c 10,3-1-10 @ £4/18/0 £16.7.3. (Whitechapel Daybook, 24 Sept, 1869)
[2] To lowering the two 14th century bells & storing in courtyard, £11.12.0. (Whitechapel Daybook, 14 August 1941)
[3] 3, tenor 6 cwt. Treble 1869. Bells hoisted into belfry and hung stationary with chiming hammers & chime bracket & all necessary fittings for stationary use, Oct. 1951. (Whitechapel Card Index)

Old church engravings


Old engraving
Photo:

Old photographs of the bells


The treble and second and right, the tenor, hanging in the frame.
Photo: David L Cawley, 1960s

The tenor.
Photo: David L Cawley, 1960s

The Sanctus bell hung for ringing between the bellframe and the centre post of the louvre.
Photo: David L Cawley, 1960s

Photographs of the belfry


Middle bell.
Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Dec 2009

Middle bell.
Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Dec 2009

Treble bell
Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Dec 2009

The sanctus bell.
Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Dec 2009

The old sanctus pit. You can just about make out the bearing slots and the slider runner board on the louvre.
Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Dec 2009


Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Dec 2009

The tenor.
Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Dec 2009

The frame is the oldest in London.
Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Dec 2009


Photo: Dickon R Love, 16 Dec 2009

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