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BICKENHILL St Peter 6, 8½cwt in A (GF)

Grid Reference 139/188824 Bickenhill Church - Source M Chester
Postcode B92 0DN
Recording None Available
Affiliation St Martin's Guild
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday By Arrangement
Practice Tuesday 2000-2115 (Check)


This church, very close to Birmingham Airport and the NEC, has recently fought against being declared redundant. Things seem OK at the present. The church consists of a chancel, north chapel, nave, north aisle, west tower, and south porch. The church had a 12th-century nave, with a north aisle of which the arcade of c. 1140 remains in place. The chancel was added or rebuilt about 1300; it had lancet windows, now destroyed, and a priests' doorway, reset in the modern wall. The north aisle was widened about 1330 and another archway inserted east of the 12th-century arcade. Late in the 15th century the north chapel was added, equal in length with the chancel and in breadth with the aisle. The stone reredosscreen with the sacristy behind it is an unusual feature. The west tower was built about the same time; whether the stone spire was coeval is not certain. The 17th century dates carved on the tower imply important alterations or repairs, especially that of 1632, which may have amounted to a complete rebuilding of the tower or the addition of the spire. In 1887 a very drastic restoration was carried out, the whole of the south walls of the chancel and nave being rebuilt; the only structural features that were re-used were the priests' doorway and the inner archway of the 12th century south doorway.

The bells hang in a composite frame for five by Barwell, who rehung the bells in 1898. At this time their canons removed. The inscriptions at this time are given in Tilley and Wlaters' book, "The Church Bells of Warwickshire:

The first peal, however, was not rung on the bells until 1924:

A report of a ring here by the Birmingham ringers in The Ringing World of July 26th 1912 notes that this was the first time that bells had been rung full circle in 10 year, but did not say why.  The fact that they reported that the bells went well suggests it was nothing to do with the state of the ring.

A steel rider frame for the "flat-topped" treble was supplied by Taylors in 1929. The tenor was rehung on ball bearings in 1929 and the rest in 1958 - all by Taylors. The treble's inscription is:

I. M.
VICAR 1919-1928

The weight of the tenor is an estimate from Chris Pickford, based on similar bells where the weight is known. It is different from what has been shown in "Dove".

There is a small parking space by the churchyard wall.

Details of the Bells

1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1929  3-3-21  25.50"  1470.0Hz (F#-12c)
2 Joseph Smith, Edgbaston         1703  4¼cwt   27.50"  1310.0Hz (E-11c)
3 Joseph Smith, Edgbaston         1703  4¾cwt   28.75"  1168.0Hz (D-10c)
4 Thomas Hancox II, Walsall       1636  5¼cwt   30.00"  1071.5Hz (C#-59c)
5 John Martin, Worcester          1650  6½cwt   32.00"   962.0Hz (B-46c)
6 Joseph Smith, Edgbaston         1707  8½cwt   37.50"   870.5Hz (A-19c)

Photo Gallery 

The Church - Looking East. Source: Church Website Plan of the Church. Source: British History Online
The Church - Looking East A Plan of the Church
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