WOOTTON WAWEN St Peter 6, 10-2-6 in F
History Of The Bells
Though the number of bells at specific times here is a little difficult to quote with certainty, there were certainly six bells here by 1761. It is probable that Henry Bagley of Witney cast what became the third and fourth bells in 1741 and the treble in 1742, all have been subsequently recast. Three bells came from the Rudhall foundry, the old fifth in 1761, (recast by Francis Tyler who was in charge of the foundry until the coming of age of Thomas Rudhall between the death of Abel Rudhall in 1760 and 1766), the fourth in 1784 and the third in 1803. The note of the tenor is F, and not F# as has been quoted until recently. Its pitch equates to F+37c.
The parish here actually effectively refused the offer of a completely new Taylor six in 1907, there being not enough of a majority on the PCC to satisfy the donor. Instead, the old bells were rehung with new fittings in 1911 by Thomas Bond of Burford who repaired the cracked fifth (like the treble which had been similarly repaired) with iron bands fixed across the cracks. (See Chris Pickford's article in Ringing World, 14th September 1973 p.478).
The bells go well, the frame and fittings being by Taylors, 1955, at which time the repaired bells were recast and the others retuned and eighth turned. This cost £1120 Recently the 2nd bell was found to be cracked and it was welded by Soundweld in 2005. The ringing room ceiling is quite low, but the ropes pass through "tubes" in the intermediate chamber and there is no reason for rope handling issues to cause problems.
Alphabetically, this the last church with a ringable ring of bells in the County of Warwickshire, (if you include Yardley under Birmingham), but it not the least in any way! A very nice church that is worth viewing before ascending the tower. There is an exhibition in the church that shows its development from Saxon times.
The story of the clock is unusual. The donor spotted a church clock in a clockmaker's window and asked the person behind the counter if he made it. On saying that he did an order was placed for one to be made for this church. It turned out that the person's father had actually made it and he was a better clock maker than his son! It would not run properly when installed and a local person had to take the clock apart and clean and adjust it. As you can see from the photograph, he also removed the clockmaker's name from the dial!
The tower is sort of central to the church and entry to the ringing room is gained by going round the back of the church and then up a very old, but safe, wooden ladder. There is a church car park in front of the church and the field to the left of the road to the church can be opened for larger parties.
Details of the Bells
1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1955 4-1-00 27.375" 1198.0Hz (D+34c)
2 Francis Watts Leicester 1591 5-0-05 30.375" 1066.0Hz (C+32c)
3 John Rudhall. Gloucester 1803 5-2-04 32.25" 953.0Hz (Bb+38)
4 Charles & John Rudhall, Gloucester 1784 6-2-00 34.50" 899.0Hz (A+37c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough 1955 9-1-20 37.50" 802.0Hz (G+39c)
6 Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove 1719 10-2-06 41.50" 713.5Hz (F+37c)