Newbury Branch towers
Saturday 27th October 2018
Arranged by Adrian Gray
St Mary (8) 12-3-22 in G · Berks RG7 6PR
St Matthew (6) 5-0-9 in C# · Berks RG7 5UW
St Mary (6) 9-2-23 in A · Berks RG7 5NL
13:15 The Six Bells
The Green · Beenham · Berks RG7 5NX
Midgham · St Matthew
Left to Right: Ron Burgess, Colin Taylor, Simon King, Charlotte Furneaux, Ailsa Reid, Jane Burgess, Michael Haynes, Adrian Gray, Mona Setje-Eilers, Benjamin Poole, Peter Bridle, Hugh Deam, Alison Merryweather-Clarke, Mark Sadler, Victoria Sadler, Judy Kirby, David Parks & Susan King.
Stedman Triples, Grandsire Triples, Plain Bob Triples & Cambridge Minor.
was documented in the Domesday Book as Burgeldeburie (stronghold of a woman called Burghild) and was already part of a Royal Manor belonging to Edward the Confessor before the Norman invasion. Henry I granted the settlement to Reading Abbey and it remained under their administration until 1540. The Georgian mansion of Bucklebury Manor dates to 1830 and is situated on the manorial estate, having come to international notice in recent years due to its ownership by the Middleton family, Kate Middleton now being the Duchess of Cambridge. The parish church is early Norman, with the north chancel added a century later, and the chancel during the 18th century.
Bucklebury · St Mary
The earliest of the bells are the back two, both from the Knight family foundry that existed in Reading, seventh (1610) and tenor (1634). Fourth and sixth, Thomas II Mears, Whitechapel, 1824. The other four bells are all by Alfred Bowell of Ipswich, treble to third (1915), fifth (1926).
stands on the northern bank of the River Kennet, having been documented as Migeham in the Domesday Book, the name literally describing a homestead infested with midges. Until 1857 the settlement was within the Thatcham parish, being subdivided into the manors of Midgham Chenduit and Midgham Everard. Constructed in a distinct 13th century style, the parish church actually dates to 1869 and is set away from the village in parkland affording views eastwards across Midgham Park towards Aldermaston and the Kennet & Avon Canal. All of the bells date to 1988, cast at Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
see Saturday 13th November 2010
to find details of the village, church and bells.
Situated adjacent to the River Bourne, The Six Bells
pub in Beenham provided us with an excellent lunch. Hugh Deam
Saturday 22nd September 2018
by Hugh Deam
All Saints (6) 12-1-12 in F# · Northants NN7 4BY
St Michael (5) 14-0-14 in F · Northants NN7 3RG
12:30 Bugbrooke Community Café
Church Lane · Bugbrooke · Northants NN7 3PB
The ringers at Harpole
Left to Right: Kathy Xu, Judy Kirby, John Hearn, Hugh Deam, Jane Hedges, Donna Bennett, Michael Haynes, Colin Taylor & Benjamin Poole.
Harpole · All Saints
was documented as Harpol (a dirty or muddy pond) in the Domesday Survey of 1086. Given its proximity to Northampton, then it is not unexpected that evidence of extensive Roman habitation has been unearthed around the village. Harpole was one of the first villages in the country to organize a Scarecrow Festival Weekend back in 1997 and this still takes place every September, with a share of the proceeds across the years having provided for ongoing maintenance of the parish church. As with many of the churches in the county the Transitional period example here is constructed of local ironstone. The Norman font is one of the finest surviving examples in a country church, with carvings depicting two dragons eating a plant motif from left and right, and another dragon surrounded by foliage seemingly biting its own tail. The tower is from the Early English period, with all of the bells cast at Taylor’s foundry in Loughborough, the back five bells being from 1930 and treble from 1995.
derives from the Anglo Saxon description (Buchebroc) for the brook belonging to Bucca. A prehistoric track passed through land here, and this was followed by a Drovers Way. The village is situated on the A5 (Watling Street) which was the Roman Road that connected Dover with Chester. In more recent centuries other key transport routeways have been constructed through the parish, namely the London North Western Railway (originally London and Birmingham Railway) and the Grand Union Canal (originally Grand Junction Canal). Bugbrooke Marina is a popular mooring for narrowboats on the canal.
Bugbrooke · St Michael & All Angels
The 13th century church of St Michael and All Angels is on its third dedication, having originally been the Assumption of Our Lady and then St Mary’s. In common with many of the older properties in the village, the church is constructed of marlstone, this being sandstone interspersed with ironstone. The bells are rung from the ground floor, with the earliest bell being the third, 1599, Francis Watts, Leicester. Fifth, 1695, Henry II Bagley, Chacombe. The front two bells are both from the Whitechapel foundry, treble, 1863, G Mears and second from five years later by R Stainbank. Fourth, Gillett & Johnston, 1931. Bugbrooke is fortunate to have a well established and equally well frequented Community Café
that is based in the Sunday School building and is open Monday to Saturday. We enjoyed an exceptionally good lunch here, with most of us taking advantage of the lower than usual cost by way of ordering dessert as well. Hugh Deam
Monday 20th August 2018
A Worcester outing by Hugh Deam
St Nicholas (6) 12cwt in F# · Worcs GL20 7HX
St Faith (6) 9-1-21 in Ab · Worcs GL20 7NP
12:30 The Star Inn
Elmley Road · Ashton Under Hill · Worcs WR11 7SN
13:45 Ashton under Hill
St Barbara (6) 7-1-16 in A · Worcs WR11 7SX
St John Bapt (6) 13-3-0 in F · Worcs GL20 7AD
The ringers before the lychgate at Overbury St Faith
Left to Right: Paul Lucas, Colin Taylor, David Parks, Simon King, Jane Hedges, Ron Harphan, Alison Merryweather-Clarke, Michael Probert, Judy Kirby, Hugh Deam & Susan King.
Cambridge, Single Oxford, St Clements, Little Bob, Stedman & Grandsire.
was documented as Cynebergingctun (farmstead of a woman called Cyneburg) in the Domesday Book (1086). The settlement was divided into two manors from Plantagenet times (1154 - 1485), hence the two manor houses here, Kemerton Court and Upper Court. One of the best kept secrets in the county is to be found directly across the road from the church, the “Walled Garden” being a two mile walkway within a monastery style garden that passes close to Kemerton Lake. Although the garden lies within Kemerton Court, admission is free, with voluntary donations payable in a box at the church. The Decorated style church that stands today is a rebuilding of 1840, the original Norman building having been ordered by Tewkesbury Abbey. The 14th century tower was restored in 1879. All bar one of the bells were cast by Abel Rudhall Gloucester, 1754. The exception is the second, cast by Thomas Mears, Whitechapel, 1844.
Kemerton · St Nicholas
Overbury · St Faith
(Anglo Saxon description for an upper fortification) is a quintessential estate village, although the original Elizabethan manor house burned down in 1738 and was rebuilt by John Martin, of the noted banking family, who had bought the estate in 1723 from the owners of Kemerton Court. Today the Overbury Estate is a diverse enterprise that encompasses housing in the village and nearby Conderton, with the replacement Georgian manor house and its grounds being the base for numerous small business enterprises. The church, which stands adjacent to the estate office entrance, is Norman in its origins, with the churchyard entered through a particularly impressive lychgate. The earliest of the bells is the fourth, 1480, Robert Hendley, Gloucester. Third, 1599, Newcombe, Leicester. Second & Tenor, 1641, Roger Purdue, Bristol. Fifth, 1718, Abraham II Rudhall, Gloucester. Treble, 1903, Taylor, Loughborough.
Ashton under Hill
Ashton · The Lychgate
Ashton Under Hill · St Barbara
is situated between the Cotswolds and the Vale of Evesham and exemplifies the photogenic qualities of both, with numerous elegant 17th century thatched cottages and red-brick Georgian cottages. As the toponym suggests the settlement was once notable for its abundance of ash trees, being in the shadow of Bredon Hill. For many generations Ashton was celebrated for its orchards and market gardening. Only one pub remains in the village – The Star Inn
– but it is one of the most highly rated in the county and we enjoyed an excellent lunch here. The Norman parish church has been reconstructed and extended across the centuries, with the chancel rebuilt in 1624. The 14th century pinnacle tower contains six bells, four of which (2, 3, 5 & tenor) date to 1785, cast by Charles & John Rudhall of Gloucester. Fourth, 1827, John Rudhall. The treble was added in 1946 by Gillett & Johnston. The small ringing chamber is bedecked with Christmas decorations all year round due to the tradition of a new item being added every Yuletide.
The Star Inn · Ashton Under Hill
Beckford · St John Bapt
was first noted as a settlement in 803AD, the name simply describing Becca’s ford, but the area was settled much earlier, with flints and axes having been uncovered from Bronze and Iron Age periods, with Channel 4’s Time Team having found evidence in support of this. The 12th century church is built on the site of an earlier church and has been extended several times since. In the chancel is a beautifully constructed scale model of the church that is impressive enough at first glance, but when activated it is fully lit, the roof rises to reveal the interior, the bells ring up and the congregation sings until the bells ring down and the roof lowers. The tall central tower originally possessed a spire, but this was replaced by a belfry stage in 1622, and there are six bells, the oldest of which are from 1697 (Treble, 3 & Tenor) cast by Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester. The other bells are by Taylor’s Loughborough, fourth & fifth (1953) and second (1954). Hugh Deam
Saturday 29th July 2018
Organised by Donna & Richard Bennett
St Peter (6) 7-1-13 in Ab · Glos OX18 4TS
10:30 Eastleach Martin
St Michael & St Martin (3) 6cwt in B · Glos GL7 3NN
10:30 Eastleach Turville
St Andrew (2 chimed) · Glos GL7 3NH
Eastleach Martin · St Michael & St Martin
Left to Right: Hugh Deam, Donna Bennett, Janice Beale, Mary Carroll, Susan King, John Beale, Judy Kirby, Pralhad, Benjamin Poole, Jonathan Beale, Christopher Beale, Judith Godfrey & Simon King. Not pictured: Michael Haynes.
Windrush · St Peter
Eastleach Turville · St Andrew
See Saturday 12th April 1997
was formed as a parish in 1935, with the amalgamation of Eastleach Turville from the western side of the River Leach and the smaller Eastleach Martin on the eastern side of the river. A stone road-bridge and a stone clapper footbridge span the river within a couple of hundred yards of each other. The clapper bridge is known as the Keble Bridge, named after the churchman and acclaimed poet John Keble who served as a curate here. Keble was one of the leaders of the Oxford Movement, with Keble College in Oxford and John Keble church in Mill Hill, London also named after him. Although geographically within the Cotswolds this picturesque village is still mainly undiscovered by the tourism trade. Both churches in the village are Grade 1 Listed, being situated on opposing banks of the river. Regular Sunday services are held at St Andrew, with the Churches Conservation Trust maintaining the other church where occasional services are still held. St Andrew’s is a primarily Norman structure and is the more internally ornate of the two churches. The tower is 13/14th century, with a saddleback roof. St Michael & St Martin was given to Malvern Priory in 1120 and later Cirencester Abbey, the present building being primarily 13th century. The earliest of the bells is the second, c
.1399, Wokingham. Third, c
.1599, Leicester, and treble, 1739, Abel Rudhall of Gloucester. We were able to recreate a local tradition of the bells communicating with each other across the river courtesy of the Beale family’s walkie talkies, which sees the three bells at St Michael & St Martin being immediately answered by the two at St Andrew. Hugh Deam
North Essex & South Suffolk
Saturday 5th May 2018
Organised by Dave Jennings
St Peter ad Vincula (10) 24-1-7 in D · Essex CO6 1QF
11:30 Greenstead Green
St James (6) 12-2-25 in F · Essex CO9 1QR
St Andrew (8) 15-1-6 in F · Essex CO9 2LD
St Margaret Antioch (8) 14-2-14 in G · Essex CO9 4DR
14:30 The Green Man
Toppesfield · Essex CO9 4DR
St Laurence (6) 8-3-23 in Ab · Essex CO9 4SA
St Mary V (6) 12½cwt in F# · Suffolk CB9 8AX
Halstead · St Andrew
Left to Right: James Scott Brown, Benjamin Poole, Rachel Croft, Ailsa Reid, Adrian Gray, Mona Setje-Eilers, David Jennings, Hugh Deam, David Mead, Katy Routh, Clare Fairbairn, Mike Lelkes, Michael Probert, Judy Kirby, Colin Taylor, John Pusey, Alison Merryweather-Clarke, Paul Lucas & Neil Ephgrave.
was granted market town status in 1256, having been a settlement of strategic importance since Roman occupation, the road known as Stane Street being from that time. The representation on the village sign amply captures the early history of Coggeshall, depicting a Cistercian monk farming sheep near the abbey and a weaver working at a loom. The large 15th century parish church is built on the site of its Norman predecessor, with the tower being 72ft in height.
Coggeshall · St Peter ad Vincula
Greenstead · St James
The earliest bell is the fifth, Miles Graye III, 1681, Colchester. Sixth and eighth, 1733, Thomas Gardner, Sudbury. Second, 1876, John Warner. Fourth, 1931, Gillett & Johnston. The other bells all by Taylors of Loughborough (7 -1904, 10 – 1929, 1,3,9 – 2000).
was first documented as Grenstede (pasture used for grazing) in the 10th century. The church is Victorian (1845), built in the Decorated style, being to the designs of George Gilbert Scott, with the west tower capped by a commanding spire. The bell-chamber is octagonal, with the bells hung counter-clockwise and arranged quirkily with the third rope situated almost directly behind the fourth. All of the bells date to 1845, cast at Whitechapel by Charles & George Mears.
Halstead · St Andrew
Toppesfield · St Margaret of Antioch
is situated on a high ground overlooking the River Colne, with its name denoting a hillside place of shelter. The area was settled during the Iron Age, with later Roman occupation. Halstead received its Royal charter as a market town in 1251. The predominant source of employment in the town was long associated with the wool trade, in particular weaving of cloth, silk and crepe. During the Second World War, one of the largest P.O.W. Camps was located here, housing over 500 Italian and German soldiers.
The Green Man
A church has stood here since the reign of King John in the 12th century. The present building is primarily 14th century (nave, chancel and aisles). All bar one of the bells were cast in 1957 at Taylor’s Loughborough foundry, the exception being the seventh which is a particularly early bell, cast in 1410 by John Bird at a foundry in London.
See Saturday 11th July 2015
See Saturday 3rd June 2017
is situated within a dip of the chalky hills known as the Newmarket Ridge, and derives its name from Hjamer (anglicised to Haver), the son of probably the most famed Viking warrior Ragner, who led a scavenging incursion into the area around 850 AD.
Ridgewell · St Laurence
Haverhill · St Mary V
Virtually all of the pre-Tudor housing was destroyed by a great fire on June 14th, 1667. A notable exception was the Tudor country residence now known as Anne of Cleves House, being part of the property and land given to her by Henry VIII as part of the divorce settlement that enabled him to move on to wife number five. The primarily 14th century church is situated on Market Square, but has been substantially refurbished in more recent years. The earliest bells are the second and fourth, cast at a foundry in Ipswich by John Darbie in 1669. Sixth, 1729, Thomas Newman, Norwich. The other three bells were all cast in 1903 by John Warner & Sons. Hugh Deam
West Midlands & Warwickshire
Monday 9th April 2018
Colin Taylor’s Spring Outing
St James Gt (8) 6-1-1 in Bb · W Mids B90 2BA
St Mary the Virgin (6) 10-1-2 in G · Warks B94 5NX
13:15 Wharf Tavern
Hockley Heath · W Mids B94 6QT
St Giles (8) 6-3-14 in Bb · Warks B94 6AS
Packwood · St Giles
Left to Right: David Parks, John Pusey, Colin Taylor, Alison Merryweather-Clarke, John Hearn, Michael Probert, Graham Cane, Judy Kirby, Harry Cane, Hugh Deam & Paul Lucas. Not in Photo: Simon King & Susan King.
Yorkshire Major, Cambridge Major, Kent Treble Bob Major, Little Bob Major, Plain Bob Major, Stedman Triples, Grandsire Triples, Double Oxford Minor & St Clements Minor.
see Saturday 9th April 1988
was first documented as Hlappawurthin (Hlappa’s estate) in 816 AD, with a later notation in the Domesday Book as Lapeforde. The village is still relatively rural, but its population is now firmly commuter focused rather than farming based, its location being at the junction of the Stratford Canal and the Grand Union Canal. The emblem on the village sign as you enter Lapworth depicts a narrow-boat passing through the lock here. The 13th century church has an interior primarily reflecting the remodelling of the 15th century. The two-stage north tower is from the 14th century and has an octagonal spire which was added several centuries later.
Lapworth · St Mary the Virgin
Packwood · St Giles
The earliest bell is the fourth, cast at a foundry in Worcester in 1440. Fifth, 1600, cast by Hugh Watts, Leicester. Third, 1656, Bryan Eldridge, Chertsey. The other three bells were all cast by Taylor’s of Loughborough in 1963.
is not mentioned in the Domesday Book as the settlement and surrounding lands were documented as Wasperton. The name represents the woodland here and for many centuries the church was a subsidiary chapel for Wasperton. Undoubtedly, the village is most widely known for the National Trust property of Packwood House, a timber-framed Tudor mansion which was purchased in 1904 by industrialist Alfred Ash and meticulously restored by his son, Graham Barson Ash. The estate covers 134 acres, with the gardens boasting 100+ yew trees and hosting open-air theatre productions of Shakespeare and Gilbert & Sullivan. The house contains notable collections of furniture and tapestry. The church, situated away from the village and accessed via a gated driveway, is primarily 13th century, nave and chancel being from that time, with the west tower dating to the 15th century. The back four bells were all cast by Matthew & Henry Bagley at their Chacombe foundry in 1686. The front four are all from Taylor’s of Loughborough, 3 & 4 (1957), Treble & 2 (1960). Hugh Deam
Wiltshire & Gloucestershire
Saturday 24th March 2018
Organised by David Parkes & Hugh Deam
St Mary V (6) 14-0-9 in E · Wilts SN14 6AP
St Mary (6) 11-2-11 in G · Wilts SN14 7LS
12:45 The Fox & Hounds
High Street · Colerne · Wilts SN14 8DB
St John Bapt (8) 14-1-6 in E · Wilts SN14 8EL
St Mary V (8) 15-1-22 in E · Glos SN14 8PF
St Peter (6) 13cwt in F# · Glos SN14 8ER
St Thomas Becket (6) 12-1-14 in Eb · Glos BS16 9RB
Nettleton · St Mary
Left to Right: Hugh Deam, Adrian Nash, Simon King, Susan King, Alan Bainbridge, John Hearn, Sally Wale, Elizabeth Mullett, Shanie Nash, Michael Haynes, Alison Merryweather-Clarke, Michael Probert, Donna Bennett, Judy Kirby, Mary Carroll, Jane Hedges, Colin Taylor & Paul Lucas.
Little Bob Major, Plain Bob Major, Stedman Triples, Grandsire Triples, Cambridge Minor & Double Oxford Minor.
was documented in the 1086 Domesday Survey as Greitelintone (Grytel’s Estate). Gauze Brook, a tributary of the River Avon, flows west to east across the village and the Fosse Way passes through the northern edge of the parish. Grittleton House is a large Victorian country house, with lodges and stables, which is now a corporate venue. The parish church is situated across the road from the manor house and dates to circa 1200, with a restoration by AW Blomfield (1865 – 67) which was paid for by the owner of Grittleton House, Sir Joseph Neeld. The highlight of the interior is a capacious four-bay north arcade, plus there is the Neeld family pew.
Nettleton · St Mary
The three stage tower is from the 15th century, with the two earliest bells (4 & 6) dating to around 1480, both cast at a foundry in Bristol. Second, 1718, Abraham II Rudhall (Gloucester). Other three bells by Mears & Stainbank, fifth from 1872, treble and third, 1906.
also includes the hamlets of Horsedown, Nettleton Shrub and West Kington Wick, deriving its name from a farmstead at the place overgrown with nettles. The late 13th century parish church is actually located in Burton, the parishes having been separate until 1934. The interior furnishing of the church gives evidence as to its manorial connections, with the Georgian box pews perhaps most notable. The earliest bell is the sixth, dating to 1410, cast at a foundry in Worcester and rare in that its inscriptions are bordered by foliage similar to that found on the medieval bells of Hereford Cathedral. Fourth (1652) & Fifth (1653) both by William III Purdue (Closworth). Second, 1754, Abel Rudhall (Gloucester). Third, 1830, Thomas II Mears, Whitechapel. Treble, 1889, LLewellins & James (Bristol).
derives its name from the Anglo Saxon description for a building where charcoal is made or stored. This large, but somewhat isolated village has an elevated position overlooking the Box Valley and is known to locals as “the village on the hill”.
Colerne · St John Bapt
Fox & Hounds · Colerne
From the 14th century until late in the 19th century the manor here was held by New College, Oxford. Our lunchtime venue was the Fox & Hounds
pub, a converted 18th century blacksmiths, where meals are incredibly low priced and portions immensely generous, making this a real stand out hostelry. The large 15th century church was heavily restored in the 19th century and possesses a mighty 15th century tower that can be seen from several miles away. The earliest bell is the tenor, cast at a foundry in Worcester, 1410. Fourth & Fifth, 1652/53, William III Purdue (Closworth). Second, 1754, Abel Rudhall (Gloucester). Third, 1830, Thomas II Mears, Whitechapel. Treble, 1889, Llewellins & James (Bristol).
derives its name from having been settled by the Anglo Saxons and its character is exemplified by a wealth of Georgian housing, such as the Toll House, extensive stable ranges and alms-houses, with the wool trade and malting having contributed to much of the prosperity. Marshfield is one of the few places where Mummers’ Plays are still performed every Christmas, with the Market Place being the starting point at 11.00am on Boxing Day, and a solo church bell chimed to announce the arrival of the seven mummers. The present church is a rebuilding in Perpendicular style from 1470, its previous incarnation having been dedicated in 1242. The bells are a very pleasing set to ring. Third, 1720 & Tenor, 1734, Abraham Rudhall (Gloucester). Fifth & Seventh, 1739, Thomas Bilbie (Chew Stoke). Fourth & Sixth, 1888, Llewellins & James (Bristol). Front two bells by Mears & Stainbank, 1910.
Marshfield · St Mary V
Pucklechurch · St Thomas
is known to have been settled by the Saxons in the wake of their victory in 577AD at what was known as the Battle of Dyrham, a success that enabled their possession of Bath, Cirencester and Gloucester. The church is situated on a hillside adjacent to the estate of Dyrham Park, which is now a National Trust property most widely known for its landscaped gardens, formal walks and Fallow Deer Park. The walkway to the late 13th century church is lined by lime trees and affords a fine elevated view across the southern portion of Dyrham Park. The oldest bell is the fifth, cast around 1400 at a foundry in Worcester. The second (1650) and tenor (1669) by the Purdue family of bell-founders. The other three bells are all by Llewellins & James (Bristol) 1911.
and the surrounding area was settled by the Saxons after the battle of Dyrham in 577 AD, with a palace being built here which was later the scene of the murder of King Edward in 946 AD on the feast of St Augustine. A Saxon church would have stood here as the settlement was noted as Pucelancyrcan. The Normans constructed a new church on this site, although the present building is primarily 13th century, with just a doorway surviving from Norman times. The three stage tower is one of the 14th century additions. Most of the bells were cast at the foundry in Chew Stoke, treble, 1780, William Bilbie, bells 3 to 5, 1796, Thomas & James Bilbie. Second, 1929, Gillett & Johnston. Tenor, 1985, Whitechapel. Hugh Deam
Saturday 17th March 2108
John Hearn's outing
Abbey (8) 22-1-23 in Db · Hants SO51 8NG
11:00 Sherfield English
St Leonard (8) 9-2-1 in A · Hants SO51 6FN
Clock House Bells (10) 3-1-2 in E · Hants SO51 0HN
13:15 The Hatchet Inn
Salisbury Road · Romsey · Hants SO51 6FP
14:30 East Tytherley
St Peter (8) 14-1-5 in F# · Hants SP5 1LG
All Saints (6) 2-2-21 in E · Hants SO20 6LJ
St Peter (6) 7-0-20 in Bb · Hants SO20 6HE
Within the Stockbridge ringing chamber
Left to Right: Bob Tregillus, Brian Shacklady, Adrian Nash, Alan Barsby, John Hearn, Michael Probert, Andrew Goldthorpe, Shanie Nash, Alison Merryweather-Clarke & Hugh Deam. Also: Mags Carlyle, Jane Hedges & David Parks.
Romsey Abbey of St Mary & St Ethelflaeda
see Saturday 29th June 2002
was documented as Sirefelle (clear or divided land) in the Domesday Book, although the manor was first noted during the reign of Edward the Confessor. The manorial affix denotes the L’Engleys family who held the manor here during the 14th century. The manor has been held by several different families of nobility since that time, with Louisa, Lady Ashburton purchasing it in 1903 and providing the funds for the construction of the present church. The red brick central tower is in the 15th century style, with an octagonal stone bell turret topped by a short leaded spire.
Sherfield English · St Leonard
Houghton · All Saints
All of the bells date to 1904, cast at the Loughborough foundry by John Taylor & Co.
(pronounced ay-bridge) was noted in the Domesday Survey as Abedric (Ridge of the Abbots), referring to ownership by St Peter’s Abbey, Winchester. The sporadic village is a collection of hamlets such as Upper and Lower Ratley. All Saints church in the village does not have any bells, but The Clockhouse on Church Road has a set of ten installed within a purpose built garage extension.
East Tytherley · St Peter
Loughborough Bell Foundry: 1 – 6, 2000; 7 – 9, 2001; 10, 2012. They are quite possibly the best mini-ring in the country.
takes its name from thin or tender wood and was gifted to Queen Philippa by her husband Edward III in 1335. With the onset of the Black Death she moved her court to the village for a brief period. The church is 12th century, with several stained glass windows surviving from the following century. There was a heavy restoration 1862/63, with the north tower dating to 1898, built to accommodate a set of bells from that time. Back six bells, 1897, and front two, 1899, all cast by John Taylor, Loughborough.
is still primarily an estate village, with Houghton Lodge to the north and Bossington Estate to the south, and both of them owning many of the properties in the village. Houghton is situated on the River Test with the Test Way and Clarendon Way intersecting here. The village is at the heart of the Test Valley, with the stretch of river in this area being one of the most favoured by visiting anglers who regard the Test as the premier fishing river in southern England. Houghton Lodge is a large late 18th century Romantic Movement inspired cottage built in a mixture of Gothic and Islamic styles. Besides the famous fishing lakes there is also an extensive Deer Park. The parish church is 12th century in its earliest parts, with aisles and chancel from the following two centuries. The bell-cote is 15th century, with the spire being 19th century. Long a three bell tower, the present bells are relatively recent additions, tenor (1950) and fifth (1975) both from Taylor’s of Loughborough. Treble to fourth all by Matthew Higby & Co, Bath, 2015.
Stockbridge St Peter
see Saturday 29th June 2002
for details. Hugh Deam
Monday 12th February 2018
An outing to Berkshire
St Mary V (8) 12-1-14 in E · Berks RG17 9TR
12:00 Great Shefford
St Mary (6) 7-0-7 in Ab · Berks RG17 7DZ
13:15 The George
High St · Lambourn · Berks RG17 8XU
St Michael (8) 20-2-0 in D · Berks RG17 8XX
Great Shefford · St Mary
Left to Right: John Pusey, Simon King, Alison Merryweather-Clarke, Steve Everett, Susan King, Elizabeth Mullett, Mike Probert, Andrew Goldthorpe, Colin Taylor, Hugh Deam, Judy Kirby & Paul Lucas.
Plain Bob Major, Stedman Triples, Grandsire Triples, Cambridge Minor, St Clements & Single Oxford.
derives its name from the Anglo Saxon description for the river that it stands upon – today known as the Kennett – and the fortification that once stood here, having its earliest documentation in the 10th century, when it was described as Cynetanbyrig. The village nestles between the Lambourn Downs to the north and the Wessex Downs to the south, having become one of the country’s most sought after places to reside with its numerous transport links. Besides the road, rail and river routes, there is also a long distance path known as the Wayfarers Walk that passes through here. Local legend has it that a tunnel was constructed between the pub and the church for the benefit of smugglers and highwaymen. The parish church is primarily late Norman, with substantial doorways for the north and west entrances. The upper part of the tower has distinctive chequer work, the original upper level having collapsed after a storm during the 15th century.
Kintbury · St Mary V
Great Shefford · St Mary
The Kintbury Great Bell was said to have fallen into the river during this event, but it was unable to be retrieved due to a curse from a local witch. Three of the bells (4, 7 & Tenor) were all cast by Roger Purdue at the Aldbourne foundry between 1629 and 1630. The fifth (1669) and sixth (1576) were both cast by the Knight family at their foundry in Reading. Third, 1702, Robert Cor, Aldbourne. Treble & second added in 1995, Whitechapel.
is situated on the B4000, which follows the route of the Roman road known as Ermin Street. The village derives its name from the ford here which aided the sheep drovers, being documented as Schipforda in 1167. The elegant parish church is situated on the western fringe of the village and overlooks a panorama of archetypal English countryside. Under the tower is a Norman tub-shaped font standing on a plinth with Greek script carved into it, which translates as: Cleanse your sins, not only your face. The 13th century tower joins the west wall of the nave, and is one of only two examples of a circular bell tower in the county, although the upper stage is actually octagonal having been added in the 15th century. The bells are hung counter clockwise, with the earliest being the fourth which dates to 1662, William III Purdue, Closworth. The tenor (John & Robert Cor, 1735) and second (Robert Wells, 1781) were both cast at the Aldbourne foundry. The other three bells are all Mears & Stainbank, 1870.
is so named from its early history where lambs were washed in the stream that runs through the village, being documented as Lambhurnan late in the 9th century, with reference being made to the importance of this manor to King Alfred. As Newmarket is synonymous as the HQ of English flat racing, so Lambourn is the heart of National Hunt training with its central location in what is known as "The Valley of the Racehorse".
Lambourn · St Michael & All Angels
In fact the concentration of racing stables across the Lambourn Downs is the highest in the country as flat race training also takes place here, and Newbury racecourse is just a few miles to the south. Although officially a village, the centre of Lambourn is more like a town, with shops, cafes, pubs, a bookmakers and an equine hospital as a result of the influence that horse racing has on local employment. We enjoyed a fine lunch at the 18th century hostelry, The George
inn, which stands virtually across the road from the church. There is a charter of King Canute, dated to 1032, which refers to the church here as a Minster. Its Norman replacement is of considerable stature with a tower to match. Endowments from the wool trade resulted in the addition of the Lady Chapel in the 14th century and St Katherine’s Chapel in the 15th century. The earliest bells (4, 7 & Tenor) were all cast in 1637 by Roger Purdue, Glastonbury. Third & sixth, 1639, John Wiseman, Montacute. Second, 1742, Henry III Bagley, Chacombe. Treble, 1804. James Wells, Aldbourne. Fifth, 1892, John Warner. Hugh Deam