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ALVESTON St James 6; 7½cwt in A

Grid Reference 151/232563 Alveston Church - Source M Chester
Postcode CV37 7QJ
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 1000-1030 
Practice Wednesday 1930-2100 
Other Information Church Website


This church is set in a lovely rural location just outside Stratford upon Avon. There has been a sympathetic restoration project in the recent past that has made the bells no longer a trip up a vertical ladder to ring!

The three largest bells originally hung in the tower of the old church at Alveston, also dedicated to St James, and they were transferred to the present building in 1839. All that is left of the previous church is the chancel, which is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

The frame is based on a cast iron H-frame by Barwell, installed when the bells were augmented to four by them in 1912. It was was extended by Taylors at the 1965 augmentation. They used lowside frames on the same level as the Barwell frame. The dedication was reported in The Ringing World of April 15th 1966:

Through the generosity of two of the parishioners, Messrs. H. G. Tucker and W. G. Farrer, two new bells were added to the existing four at Alveston Parish Church. Stratford-on-Avon, making a pleasant ring of six.
The existing four bells (tenor 10 cwt.) are dated 1616, by Henry Farmer: 1658, by Henry Bagley: 1729. by Richard Sanders;- and 1912, given by Ludford Docker, Esq. They were rehung with new fittings and the two new bells added by John Taylor and Co., of Loughborough, the cost of rehanging being defrayed by the Parochial Church Council.
On March 27th a service of rededication, conducted by the Vicar, the Rev. A. G . Burgess, was held, and the Assistant Bishop, the Rt. Rev. John McKie. perform ed the dedication and gave the address.
After the service. ringing was enjoyed by the local band and a plain course of Bob Minor was rung by visitors from surrounding towers.
Tea was provided by the local band of ringers and served to their guests by the ringers’ wives and friends in the new Church Hall."

The 5th cracked in 1977 and was welded by Soundweld in 1980. Theis was reported in The Ringing World of June 30th 1980,
"Alveston, Warwicks.  In November 1977 the 5th clapper came out and cracked the soundbow for about 5". Messrs. Taylors advised recasting the 5th and rebushing the four oldest clappers. However, a faculty was refused as the 5th is dated 1616, one of only two Warwickshire bells cast by Henry Farmer of Gloucester. In March 1979 R. W. M. Clouston, a member of the Bells Sub-Committee of the Council for Places of Worship recommended that the 5th be welded by Messrs. Soundweld Ltd., Bus House, Lode, Nr. Cambridge, and that Taylor’s carry out the rest of the work. Money was raised by a public appeal. Work was completed on 19th February 1980. The tone of the welded bell is good. We now await the test of time on this comparatively new process of bell-welding. W.E. -"

The 20th century bells were cast flat headed and the canons have been removed from the older bells. The back four retain their Barwell fittings, the two trebles having contemporary Taylor fittings.

They are a pleasant ring of 6 that the local ringers have stated in the past that they would like to augment to a heavier 8, though tower considerations might make this difficult. Nothing has been heard about this proposal in recent times.

The first peal was not rung on the bells until 1st January 1972 and have been infrequent since, only 5 being rung on the bells to date.

The tower had about £250,000 of work carried out on it a few years ago and is now in a good condition. Much work was needed to repair and replace crumbling stonework.

Parking is available to those who park carefully on the road in front of the church.

The inscriptions of the three old bells are given in Tillley and Walters' book "The Church Bells of Warwickshire":

The three trebles are inscribed:

N.J. GIBBINS } 1965
3 A.M.D.G.

along with the "normal" founder and date around the shoulder 

Details of the Bells

1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1965   3-0-20  24.375" 1476.0Hz (F#-5c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1965   3-2-22  26.00"  1317.0Hz (E-2c)
3 James Barwell & Co, Birmingham  1912   4cwt    28.25"  1163.0Hz (D-17c)
4 Henry Bagley I, Chacombe        1658   5¼cwt   30.50"  1103.0Hz (C#-9c)
5 Henry Farmer, Gloucester        1616   6-2-20  32.75"   980.0Hz (B-14c)
6 Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove     1729   7½cwt   36.50"   882.0Hz (A+4c)

Photo Gallery

aveston_east small aveston_old small
The church - looking east The old church as it is today
Two of the original bells   One of the original bells
The two new bells beside the old frame   The treble

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