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ANSTY St James 4, 4¾cwt in D - Unringable

Grid Reference 140/400837 Ansty Church - Source Mike Chester
Postcode CV7 9HZ
Recording None Available
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals None
Sunday None
Practice None
Other Information Unringable


If you expect to find a ring of 8 here - turn round and go to Anstey in Leicestershire instead! Just off J3 of the M6 this is a small spired church that is visible from the nearby M69.  The church has a 13th-century chancel. Nave, Chancel, North Aisle and Western tower. The chapel at Ansty is recorded in the early 12th century, when it had only recently been built; nothing remains of it, but the difference in width between nave and chancel may have been a feature of the original chapel which survived subsequent rebuilding. In the 13th century the chancel was restored. The Nave was rebuilt in the 14th century and partly rebuilt in 1876. The North Aisle is  15th century or early 16th century; it may once have had a chapel or transept. Alterations from 1852 onwards, including a Western tower, with octagonal belfry and spire, replacing a bell turret, and a ‘restoration’ by George Gilbert Scott in 1876.

The bells are unringable and have been for some time. The tower and spire date from 1856, but the bells were installed when the rest of the church was restored by Scott. The bells were donated by Lady Adams of Ansty Hall, which is now a hotel. They hang in two-tier wooden frame set diagonally across the tower, with treble and third above. Frame and fittings by Warner 1876 - type 6A. All the bells retain their canons, with the tenor being of the Doncaster type.

The inscriptions are given in Tilley and Walters's book, "The Church Bells of Warwickshire":

They also state that the bells were ringable when the book was written, 1910.  I have not found any later report of ringing - yet!

The bells were inspected by John Greenhough and Jonathan Hughes on 31/3/03 and they report:
"We spent this morning up there, intending to repair/replace wheels. We rang up the lower bells (2,4): very little frame movement. However upper tier moves excessively even with treble alone, and would be difficult to stablise unless built into walls (it stands on posts rising from the belfry floor). In addition, the rod up the centre of the spire is fastened very clumsily to a girder using about 8" of scaffold pole as a big washer, because the thread is too far down the rod for it to be fastened on the underside the girder. This girder is just clear of the top bells, but the end of the rod isn't and fouls the lip of the 3rd. So, we reluctantly had to give up!"

I understand the work to shorten the "washer" was put in hand. A few years ago the church had, at its instigation, a report written into the current state of the bells from the Bells Maintenance Committee of the Coventry DG. It confirms unringability and recommends profession guidance be obtained.

Details of the Bells

1 John Warner, London      1876  2¾cwt  22.50"   1557.0Hz (G-12c)
2 John Warner, London      1876  3½cwt  24.75"   1461.0Hz (F#-22c)
3 Joseph Smith, Edgbaston  1707  4cwt   26.50"   1300.0Hz (E-24c)
4 John Warner, London      1876  4¾cwt  28.875"  1130.5Hz (D-66c)

Photo Gallery

ansty_spire_small ansty_east_small ansty_chancel_small
A statue on the tower The church - looking east The Chancel
Views of the bells. Source: Keith Chambers   

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