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BULKINGTON St James 8, 12-1-23 in G

Grid Reference 140/391867 Bulkingtyn Church - Source: David Kelly
Postcode CV12 9PZ
Affiliation  Coventry DG
Peals  Felstead Database
Sunday  0930-1000 & 1800-1830
Practice  Tuesday  1930-2100


On the main street of this large village, St James church is another that is worth spending a while examining before you ring. It consists of a chancel with a vestry on the north; a nave, with a clearstory to the south only; north and south aisles; south porch; and a western tower. The chancel is three bays in length and the nave five. Of the church as it existed early in the 13th century only the nave arcades remain, the north aisle having been rebuilt late in the same century. The south aisle was rebuilt and the present chancel added in the latter half of the 14th century. In the mid 15th century the west tower was built. The present south clearstory appears to have been either added or rebuilt in the late 15th or early 16th century, when the eastern window of the long wall of the south aisle was rebuilt in conjunction with an arched recess beneath the sill. An extensive restoration took place in the 19th Century, when the chancel vestry was added, the chancel arch rebuilt, and all the roofing reconstructed. The existing porch was built in 1907, when the tower was also restored, as was the south wall in 1928.

Until 1924 there were four bells. Their inscriptions are given in Tilley and Walters' book, "The Church Bells of Warwickshire":

Two bells were recast and two added when the bells were rehung in an eight-bell frame in 1924 - the empty pits being filled in 1948. The vicar in 1924 stated that an effort was being made then to complete the octave, but this did not happen.

The report of the dedication is printed in the edition of March 28th 1924:

The Lord Bishop of Coventry, on Saturday week, dedicated the bells at Bulkington, Warwickshire, where Messrs. Taylor and Co. have added two new trebles, and recast two of the old four. In addition they have installed a new frame, with pits for two more bells to complete the octave at some future date. The work has been carried out in the most admirable manner. A crowded congregation attended the dedication ceremony, and the Bishop gave an inspiring address.

The Church authorities had invited the Warwickshire Guild to attend, and so well was the invitation accepted that upwards of 50 ringers were present during the afternoon and evening. They came from Allesley, Anstey, Berkswell, Birmingham, Chilvers Coton, Coventry, Croft, Exhall, Leicester, Loughborough, Nuneaton, Rugby, Stoke Shilton and W olvey.

The local ringers very creditably rang the rounds immediately after the dedication, and at the conclusion of the service the first touch on the bells was a 216 Plain Bob Minor by the following : T. W . Chapman (Nuneaton) 1, O. J. Hunt (Coventry) 2, W . J. Smith (Coventry) 3, .T. B. Fenton (Rugby) 4, A. Roberts (Stoke), conductor, 5, A. Wilkerson (Nuneaton) 6. 

The ringers were entertained to tea in the Schoolroom, during which the Bishop looked in and made a few kindly remarks. After tea the company again visited the church for more ringing, a large company of villagers watching the operations, the methods including Grandsire and Stedman Doubles, Plain Bob, Kent and Oxford Treble Bob, Double Court, London and Cambridge Surprise. The falling of the bells in peal brought a very successful gathering to a close, and one that will be long remembered by the inhabitants."

An article about the bells and the Bishop's thoughts around ringing was published in The Ringing World of April 4th 1924

(Click to enlarge)

The first peal on the bells was rung shortly afterwards:

The dedication of the two new trebles to complete the octave was reported in The Ringing World on August 19th 1949:

The Right Rev. Bishop Heywood, Assistant Bishop of Coventry, dedicated two trebles to complete the octave and also a war memorial tablet at a service in St. James’ Church, Bulkington, near Nuneaton, on Saturday, July 16th.
Members of the Coventry Diocesan Guild turned up in good numbers with visiting ringers and friends, all pronouncing the splice to be perfect. Mr. Paul L. Taylor represented the founders. Eight members of the local band rang rounds immediately after the dedication, while after the service good use was made of the bells, all tastes being catered for.
A buffet tea in the school was followed by the Guild’s business meeting, presided over by the Vicar, the Rev. J. H. Dingley. It was decided to hold the October quarterly meeting at Monks Kirby. New members elected were A. Allen and A. Elson, of W olvey, with the ratification o f the election prior to peals of J. Bramley, G. Olliffe, A. Mould and D . Carlyle."

The old bells have had their canons removed and the Taylor bells were cast with flat tops. One of the late ringers at St James built the platform on which the organ now stands.

The first peal on the ring of 8 was rung in May of 1950:

The tower rocks noticeably when the bells are rung and to counteract this there has been in the past a plan to remove the old tenor, to be left as a clock bell, and the ring re-modelled using the 7th as the tenor and hung lower in the tower. This may still happen at some point.

The small brassfounders bell from the late 19th centuary which was rescued when the nearby school was demolished and kept in the ringing room for a number of years has recently been hung on a bracket at the base of the tower.

Entrance is from inside at the base of the tower and there is a church car park just to the west of the tower.

Details of the Bells

1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1948   4-0-11  25.625"  1532.0Hz (G-40c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1948   4-0-13  26.00"   1444.0Hz (F#-43c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1924   4-2-08  27.125"  1286.0Hz (E-43c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1924   5-1-08  29.00"   1146.0Hz (D-43c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1924   5-3-26  31.50"   1020.0Hz (C-44c)
6 Newcombe, Leicester             1605   5-3-27  33.00"    964.0Hz (B-42c)
7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1924   9-3-24  37.25"    859.0Hz (A-42c)
8 Newcombe, Leicester            C16th  12-1-23  42.00"    764.0Hz (G-45c)

Photo Gallery

bulkington2_small bulkington5_small
The then 4 bells removed
from the tower in 1924
The Old School Bell.
Hung on a bracket at
the base of the tower 
bulkington4_small bulkington3_small
The Church -
Looking East
The Church -
Looking West

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