CORLEY Unknown Dedication 5, 5-1-16 in C (GF)
History Of The Bells
The church stands at the highest point in Warwickshire, on a site that was probably the earliest place of worship in the county; from pagan times through the Christian conversion in the 7th Century. Very little of the original sandstone church remains, what is here was built in the early 12th century and has been rebuilt and altered over the centuries. The Chancel was rebuilt and enlarged around 1200. The 12th century south aisle was rebuilt and widened in the mid-14th century. The nave was extended in 1885. It is said that you could see the top of Coventry Cathedral, then St Michael's Church, if you looked through the keyhole of the main door.
The church is unusual in that is has bells but no tower! They are hung above the Nave in the roof beams and have a wooden structure with louvres and a sort of cupola to protect them from the elements. This means that the ropes fall in the Nave and, as you can see from the photograph, the only way to get to the east end of the church is through the rope circle - interesting when you are ringing! The Church is Norman in foundation and small but pretty to look at.
The bells themselves could not be described as the most tuneful around; they do not conform to any standard musical scale as they were left untuned when restored in 1937, as the architect wished to preserve, "the plaintive tone of Corley bells. They do handle quite well, though watch your head of the pulpit when ringing the second! The fourth is an old bell, cast some time in the late 14th century. The front 4 are relatively to a scale, but the tenor is noticeably sharp. The cast iron H frame and fittings are by Taylors, 1937. At this time the cracked Henry Bagley II of Ecton bell, cast in 1702, was recast. The old bells retain their canons, the new one, (tuned to be half way between the 2nd and 4th, they not being in tune with each other), is flat topped. The four old bells were quarter turned at the time of the restoration.
Click here to view Bill Hibbert's tonal analysis of the bells.
The entrance is on the North side of the nave, though sometimes you may be taken through the vestry at the west end of the church.
Parking should be made with care as the road in front of the church is quite busy - try up the side instead.
Look for the way up to the bells, a hatch in the ceiling beside the organ - not the easiest climb to view bells; I know, I've done it many times!
Details of the Bells
1 Hugh Watts II, Leicester 1641 1-3-24 21.375" 1456.8Hz (F#-27c)
2 John De Colsale c1410 2-2-05 24.25" 1346.0Hz (E+36c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1937 3-1-26 25.875" 1257.0Hz (D#+17c)
4 Mediaeval c1500 4-1-14 28.75" 1126.0Hz (C#+27c)
5 Thomas Hancox, Walsall 1631 5-1-16 31.00" 1041.0Hz (C-9c)