Untitled Document
      Love's Guide to

The Bells of the City of London
St Antholin

St Antholin, Budge Row / Watling Street

Photo: ASCY archive

  • Formerly 2 bells, 10-1-23
  • Grid Ref: TQ324809
  • Diocese: London

Bells prior to 1876

Bell Weight Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Service bell10-1-2338½"G1717Richard Phelps1925 Mears & StainbankRecast 1925 for Nunhead
Priest's bell1½ cwt approx.19½"B1717Richard PhelpsNeverTransferred to Nunhead

Bells as rehung at Nunhead

Bell Weight Diameter Note Date Founder Retuned Fate
Service bell11-0-1539⅝"G1925Mears & Stainbank
Priest's bell1-1-2519½"B1717Richard Phelps


1119 Church first recorded.
c 1400 Church rebuilt.
1552 Record of 5 bells and 2 sanctus bells. [1]
1578 -9 A "small bell for morninge service" was purchased from Whitechapel and hung in the tower. It weighed 1-2-16.
1599 -1600 A bell may have been recast.
1607 -8 The tenor and the sanctus bell were recast. The frame was repaired by Philip Walton, Carpenter.
1625 -6 The tenor was again recast and other work took place in the tower.
1649 -50 The tenor was recorded as being "in danger of falling", so it was taken down.
1651 -2 The tenor was recast by William Eldridge and hung by Mr Turner. The bells were "tewned" by Mr Blackwell.
1666 Church destroyed in the Great Fire.
1668 -9 The bell metal and lead from the church roof was removed and stored.
1672 31 cwt of bell metal was sold and a new bell was purchased from Mr Hudson.
1678 Rebuilding of the church commenced by Wren.
1684 The church was completed.
1687 -88 A spire was added.
1708 Record of 1 bell.
1714 Record of "some fine bells". [2]
1717 2 bells cast by Richard Phelps.
1874 The church was demolished under the Union of Benefices Act (a protest temporarily saved the tower).
1876 The tower was demolished. A memorial to it stood on the site: it is now in St Mary Aldermary. The spire was sold to a gentleman at Sydenham for £50. The top part of it still stands in Sydenham.
1878 The successor church of St Antholin, Nunhead was consecrated. The 2 bells from the city church were transferred here. The tenor was recast at Whitechapel at a cost of £69.9s.7d in 1925, and the church was gutted by incendiaries on 27/28th December. The bells taken down and rehung on RSJs in the angle between two walls by Mears & Stainbank in 1957 and the church was reconsecrated on 12 October, at which point the dedication was changed to St Anthony. The parish united with that of St Silas, Peckham Rye (St Silas church was demolished) in 2001. A new church (Ss Anthony and Silas, Nunhead) was built on the old St Silas Site in 2003. It has a stone clad steel tower wherein the two bells were rehung "dead" for electrical operation. The work was carried out by Hayward Mills Associates.
[1] "v bells one greater than another and ij smalle sanctus belles" (Edwardian Inventory)
[2] "Rebuilt of solid Stone, cover'd with Lead, adorn'd with a stately Spire Steeple, one hundred and fifty four foot high, some fine Bells, a Branch, and other Ornaments, but no new Monuments, nor Organ, and thus it was finish'd, 1682." ("Pietas Londinensis Or the Present Ecclesiastical State of London", James Paterson AM, 1714)

The church

Photographs of the bells since moving to Nunhead

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