Bells

History

Our tower houses a ring of six bells, generally considered to be one of the finest rings in the local area.  The two oldest bells (numbers 2 and 3 of the present  peal) were cast in 1583 by Robert Mot of Whitechapel, but it is uncertain exactly where they were made.  It is possible that they were cast in a pit in the grounds of the church, dug specifically for that purpose. 

In 1655 three further bells were cast and added by John Hodson, whose foundry was sited in Blacksmiths Lane, St Mary Cray.

In 1913, the five bells were melted down, further material added and six new bells were created by Gillett and Johnston of Croydon. These are the bells that still ring out from here every Sunday morning.

In 2013, to commemorate the centenary of our bells, a quarter peal was rung every month during the year. The celebrations were completed with a full peal rung on the exact 100th anniversary of the first peal on the bells – only the 40th such performance on these bells in their 400 year history. 

Details

Bell

Weight

Pitch

Diam

Inscribed

 

 

 

 

 

Treble

3cwt 3qtrs 6lbs

E

26.12"

Come when I call to serve God all

2

4cwt 1qtr 14lbs

D

28"

Robert Mot made me 1583

3

5cwt 3qtrs 17lbs

C

31.25"

Robert Mot made me 1583

4

7cwt 0qtrs 24lbs

B

33"

John Hodson made me 1655 E.M. E.S.P. Church W

5

8cwt 2qtrs 19lbs

A

35.87"

John Hodson made me 1655 E.M. E.S.P. Church W

Tenor

11cwt 3qtrs 21lbs

G

40.25"

John Hodson made me 1655 Edward Manning, Edward Spurling Church Wardens W.H.

 

The Band

The bells are rung every Sunday morning for half an hour before the 10am service, as well as weddings, funerals and other significant events by arrangement.

We have our own keen band of ringers with various levels of experience and we are always delighted to welcome new recruits.  We enjoy regular practice nights (every Tuesday from 7.30 – 9pm) and teaching covers everything from basic introduction to more advanced methods. We also arrange an annual tour of other towers and our Christmas meal is always well attended.  If you are interested in learning the art of church bell ringing, helping us to preserve this heritage, please leave your details with anyone in church and we will contact you.  Our tower is open to visiting bands and district practices.

Soon, we will be installing a new state of the art teaching and practice facility.  If any band is interested in taking advantage of this equipment we will be announcing its installation soon.

Fo rinformation on bell ringing at St Mary Cray, please leave your details with anyone in church or email smcbells@thepointerfamily.co.uk and we will contact you.

To find out more about bellringing generally, here are a couple of websites which are good places to start:

http://ringing.org/main/pages/change-ringing

http://www.cccbr.org.uk/

Here’s some more information on the bells at St Mary Cray:

http://kent.lovesguide.com/st_mary_cray.htm

http://www.kcacr.org.uk/towerfile.htm#S

And here’s the details of performances rung:

http://cccbr.org.uk/felstead/tbid.php?tid=4604

http://peals.co.uk/t_tower_year.asp?town=4353&link=0

http://bb.ringingworld.co.uk/search.php?place=St+Mary+Cray

Visit our Gallery to see our bells and ringers

 


Bells
Webpage icon St Mary's bells ring half muffled for London 4 June 2017
Webpage icon Bells- Arthur Richards Cup 2016