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BISHOP'S ITCHINGTON St Michael 5, 9-2-6 in Ab

Grid Reference 151/388577 Bishops Itchington Church - Source M Chester
Postcode CV47 2FN
Recording
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 1000-1030 (Ex 1st)
Practice Thursday 1915-2045

History

The church is situated on the north side of the village and stands in a small churchyard. The old church, which originated as a chapel to the church of All Saints in Lower Itchington (destroyed by Thomas Fisher), at the beginning of the 19th century consisted of a chancel and nave, structurally undivided, with a bell-turret at the west end. Judging from the view of it in the Aylesford Collection it had no external features earlier than the 17th century. In 1834 a small brick tower was added. The whole church was rebuilt in 1872 and consists of a chancel, nave, north aisle, west tower, organ chamber, and south porch.

Prior to the installation of this ring there was only one bell in the tower. This was recast by C & G Mears in 1845 from a box of old bellmetal which weighed 2-0-21. The new bell was 2-3-19. in 1938 the bells were retuned and rehung with new fittings in the strengthened 1874 wooden frame by Taylors. At this point the canons were removed. The rededication was reported in The Ringing World of April 1st 1938:

"A WARWICKSHIRE RESTORATION.
LINK WITH 1874 OPENING.
Situated three miles from Southam, which lies on the main road from Rugby to Banbury, is the Warwickshire village of Bishop’s Itchington, quiet and unspoiled by the march of civilisation. The church, dating from 1300, possesses a peal of five bells installed by Taylors, of Loughborough, in 1874. Having given over 60 years of service, the bell fittings had become the worse for wear, and it was decided to have the peal rehung, the bells quarter-turned and tuned and the framework strengthened. The work included entirely new fittings.
The bells were rededicated by the Lord Bishop of Coventry on Saturday, March 26th, the local ringers taking on the pleasurable duty of ringing during and im mediately after the service. Mr. Cowley, father of one of the churchwardens, rang on the bells at their installation in 1874; at the advanced age of 93 years he was a very proud listener on this more recent occasion.
The Rev. E. S. Powell and Mrs. Powell, the Rev. H . G. Benson, Mr. C. Harrison (representing Messrs. Taylor and Co.), his offspring, Geoffrey, and a few other visitors had the pleasure of ringing on the bells, now so much im proved both in tone and ‘ go .’ The local band are delighted at the ease with which the bells can now be rung"

The first peal on the bells was rung in 1947:

 

Towards the end of the 20th century there had been a degree of doubt as to the ringability or otherwise of these bells for some time, but they were occasionally rung for weddings, etc. until 2000. There were cracks in the tower which had been a major worry for the church authorities. (I rang these bells in the mid-1990s without any real cause for alarm; being in the band ringing just after the late Ron Dove.) A tower survey showed that a considerable amount of work, well over £250,000, needed to be completed and there were worries that ringing the bells was not safe and therefore ringing was stopped after the Millennium was rung in. The ringing room floor was reportedly simply sitting on corbels and the concern is that these might fail. Stonework had also fallen from the tower.

The church was awarded a substantial grant and the tower had some major repair work in 2010. The bells are now rung lower in the tower than previously, as the large clock case in the old ringing room prevented a good rope-circle. This is the third place from where they have been rung as they were initially a ground floor ring. Relatively minor work was done on the bells to refurbish them ready for ringing in February 2011.

Details of the Bells

                                        Tuned  Pre-Tuning
1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1874  4-1-22   4-3-10   28.25"  1280.0Hz (D#+49c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1874  5-0-13   5-2-18   30.25"  1138.0Hz (C#+45c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1874  5-1-19   6-0-19   31.50"  1073.0Hz (B#-43c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1874  7-0-16   8-0-7    34.50"   956.0Hz (A#-43c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1874  9-2-06  11-0-19   38.25"   853.0Hz (G#-46c)

Photo Gallery

bishops_itchington2_small bishops_itchington3_small
The Bells  The Old Ringing Room
(Notice the large, instrusive, clock case)
bishops_itchington_chancel_small bishops_itchington_east_small
The Chancel  The Church - Looking East 
bishops_itchington_ringing_small bishops_itchington_ringing2_small
The East End - Showing
the new ringing chamber
Inside the new ringing chamber 

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