Untitled Document
      Love's Guide to

The Bells of the City of London
St Helen Bishopsgate

St Helen Bishopsgate, Bishopsgate

Photo: Dickon R Love

  • 3 bells hung dead and chimed with internal hammers
  • Tenor: 4¾ cwt approx. in E♭.
  • Grid Ref: TQ332812
  • Frame: Timber frame.
  • Diocese: London
  • Building Listed Grade: I. Click for Heritage details.

Details of the Bells

Bell Weight
(most recent)
Diameter Note Date FounderRetuned
Treble 2½ cwt approx.22½" G 1779 Pack & Chapman, WhitechapelNever
2 3 cwt approx.24" F 1780 Pack & Chapman, WhitechapelNever
Tenor 4¾ cwt approx.28½" E♭ 1780 Pack & Chapman, WhitechapelNever

 - Hung dead


How the bells are tuned


1552 St Helen's was not mentioned in the Edwardian Inventory.
1630 Tenor recast (accounts include an entry "Paid the Bell Founder for changing our great bell and new metell added" £7.6.0.)
c 1650 In the 17th century, a small turret was erected.
1669 Record of a bell being hung (source: Sperling).
1696 On 3 Jun, Vestry minutes recorded an agreement was reached with Thomas Armstrong to take down the bells, wheels and ropes in the Bellfry and deliver them safe and sound into the church, thereafter to have a lease of the said belfry for 61 years. It appears that 4 bells used to hang in a belfry over the gate. In the minutes of 18 Jun, there was a resolution that 3 of the 4 bells delivered to the church by Mr Armstrong shall be sold towards the repair of the church and the best of the four to be kept for the use of the parish. [1]
1699 Vestry resolution that the belfry and church be repaired and a bell hung up to give notice of burials.
1708 Strype recorded that, in the past, rather than the church having a tower with bells in it, the bells were hung in a poor wooden frame some distance from the church. [2]
1714 Paterson notes "but two small bells".
1737 Resolution regarding ringing the bell for burials on 7 Jun.
1780 On 15 Jun, the Vestry thanked John Smith Esq. For having presented the parish with three new bells and the hanging thereof in the steeple. The bells were cast in 1779/80 by Pack & Chapman.
1874 St Martin, Outwich was pulled down and the parish united with that of St Helen.
1891 The turret was repaired.
1893 The church was reopened on 30 June.
c 1900 Bells rehung.
[1] (Vestry minutes 3rd Jun, 18 Jun)
[2] The Church is large and comely, and adorned with many stately Monuments, but wants a Steeple, the Bells hanging in a poor wooden Frame, some distance from the Church. (A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, John Strype, 1720)

Pictures of the church

Pictures of the belfry

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