Untitled Document
      Love's Guide to

The Bells of the City of London
Christ Church Greyfriars

Christ Church Greyfriars, Newgate St


1306 First gothic church built as the conventual church of a Franciscan monastery established on the site. Franciscans wear grey habits, so the church was known as "Greyfriars". It was the 2nd largest mediaeval church in London. It was completed in 1327.
1538 Henry VII dissolved the monasteries and gave the church to the City.
1687 A new church was completed by Sir Christopher Wren, without the tower and spire.
1704 A tower and spire were added to the church rising to 160 feet.
1708 Record of one bell in the tower "wherein is only as yet one bell".
1731 Richard Phelps cast a large bell and hung it in the tower (10 August). [2]
1825 A smaller bell was cast by Thomas Mears.
1851 Whitechapel records the purchase of the old bell weighing 21-2-20 gross (less 20 lbs for staple and dirt making 21-2-0 nett) @ £4/4/0 . A new bell was invoiced out on 30 August 1851, weight 22-2-20. [3]
1897 Record of two bells in the tower.
1940 The church was severely damaged in the Blitz on 29 Dec leaving the walls of the church and the tower and spire.
1949 The decision was taken not to rebuild the church.
1954 The parish was merged with that of St Sepulchre-without-Newgate.
1960 The spire was disassembled and rebuilt. The larger bell was scrapped by Mears & Stainbank.
1982 The smaller bell was tuned and hung in Christ's Hospital by Whitechapel. The original Christ's Hospital used to stand next to the church and provide most of the congregation, but in 1902 it moved to Horsham.
1989 The former nave was converted into a public garden.
2006 The tower and spire were converted into a private 3 bedroom residence.
[2] The same Day [Thursday last] the great Bell, caſt by the famous Mr. Phelps, of Whitechapel, for Chriſt-Church by Newgate-ftreet, was fet up in the Tower of the said Church. It weighs conſiderably above a Ton, and we hear it coſt 170 1. (The St. James's Evening Post, Sat. 14 August 1731; also Read's Weekly Journal, The London Evening Post, and The Evening Post, 14 August 1731); Also Wedneſday, Auguſt 11. / Yeſterday was hung up in the Steeple of the Church adjoining to Christ’s-Hoſpital, a large new Bell, only one being there before. (The Weekly Register, Sat. 14 August 1731) (Various Press reports)
[3] (Whitechapel Daybook, 21 Aug 1851)

Old photographs


The bell that went to Christ's Hospital.




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