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BURTON DASSETT All Saints 6, 13cwt in F

Grid Reference 151/399515 Burton Dassett Church - Source: Mike Chester
Postcode CV47 2AB 
Recording None Available
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday None
Practice None


Set prominently on a hill near to the M40 this is a beautiful church that is very much worth a visit. Being on a hill the church has had to adapt and therefore is built on several different levels. There are a number of very interesting wall paintings. In the early-to mid-12th century it had only a chancel and short aisle-less nave. In the early 13 century the chancel was probably remodelled and north and south transepts added to the nave. Later in the century the chancel was lengthened, new north and south windows were placed right at the east ends of the walls. Late in the 13th century the north and south aisles were added. On the south side the early-13th-century archway to the south transept was left undisturbed and the later arcade of three bays was erected west of it in the normal medieval manner, but on the north side, although the transept was retained, its archway was altered to serve as the easternmost bay of the arcade, and its western leg served also to support the cross-arch of the aisle, a method which seems to. The south windows of the south aisle were altered in the 15th century. The west tower was added in the first half of the 14th century and the nave clearstory early in the 15th century. The north porch was built about the same time as the tower or soon afterwards.

The bells are an old fashioned ring of 6 that go reasonably well. They were rehung in a single-level girder frame in 1907 by Thomas Bond of Burford. The fittings of the front 4 are of the same date. The inscriptions are given in Tilley and Walters' book, "The Church Bells of Warwickshire"

Bell News reports a Warwickshire Guild meeting there in May of 1912 and in it states, "In recent years the bells have been rehung in an iron frame, but unfortunately its construction has turned out to be faulty, and the consequence is that the bells do not go as well as they might, indeed it would mean some hard work if a 5000 was to be rung on them." A note in The Ringing World of May 17th 1912 goes further, "....but unfortunately the two centre joists which bear the fifth and tenor are only superficially fixed at the ends, and the consequence is that they are on the move the whole time when the bells are ringing. This fact rather spoilt the -“ go ” of the bells, and, under present conditions, it it would call forth some endurance to ring a 5000 on them." The bells still hang in this frame, over a century later!

All the bells have been quarter turned. The entrance is from inside the church and cars may park by the churchyard entrance. Organisers are advised to give several weeks notice of an intended visit as the church is isolated and someone will need to let you in.

The frame had been causing problems in that it was twisting and the tenor in particular was likely to come into contact with the frame. Eayre and Smith attended to the frame in early 2005, removing the rust and replacing bolts as necessary and, at the same time, they hung the two tenors on ball bearings with new headstocks and wheels. There is some hope that the front 4 will be hung on ball bearings in the future.

The base beams of the previous frame remain in the tower - the indicate that the back 4 were in a 4 bell frame of traditional design with the two trebles above.

Until recently the bells were some of the loudest you would be likely ever to encounter in any ringing room and it was a condition of ringing here that ear defenders were worn.  Thankfully, there has been some recent work to reduce the sound level and they are now merely "quite  loud"!

The first peal on the bells was rung in 1947:

Details of the Bells

1 Henry & Matthew Bagley, Chacombe  1686   4½cwt  29.75"   1215.0Hz (D+58c)
2 Henry & Matthew Bagley, Chacombe  1686   5cwt   31.00"   1070.0Hz (C+38c)
3 Henry & Matthew Bagley, Chacombe  1686   6cwt   32.875"   959.0Hz (Bb+49c)
4 Henry & Matthew Bagley, Chacombe  1686   7½cwt  35.125"   899.0Hz (A+37c)
5 Henry & Matthew Bagley, Chacombe  1686   9cwt   36.625"   814.0Hz (G+44c)
6 Henry & Matthew Bagley, Chacombe  1686   13cwt  41.75"    715.5Hz (F+42c)

Photo Gallery

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Wall Painting Looking East Looking West
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The Bells The Treble The Tenor
(Note the new fittings)

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