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BURTON HASTINGS St Botolph 5, 6-3-9 in B

Grid Reference 140/410899 Burton Hastings Church - Source Michael Chester
Postcode CV11 6XT
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 1600-1630 2nd & 4th - Check
Practice None


One of the most northerly towers in the Diocese, this is a pretty country church just off the B4109 near to J1 of the M69. It is in the centre of the village, straight on in the middle of a series of sweeping bends. This church has been relatively untouched over the centuries and any more than a congregation of around 75 would really fill it! Some parts of the church date back to the 14th century, but the present nave was built at the beginning of the 16th century. followed by the rebuilding of the tower.

The bells form a nice ring of 5, rung from a small gallery, the stairs being at the left of the photograph. There were three bells here until 1937. Their inscriptions are given in Tilley and Walters' book, The Church Bells of Warwickshire:

The metal "H" frame and fittings are by Taylors, 1937, at which time the existing tenor, a Newcombe bell of the late sixteenth century, was recast. The following appeared in The Ringing World of August 7th 1936:

A little village in Warwickshire, four or five miles from Nuneaton, one mile from the Watling Street which divides the counties of Leicester and Warwick, and about three miles from Hinckley and two from Wolvey, Burton Hastings has a population of about 200 souls, mostly engaged in agricultural work, small farmers and labourers. It is separated from the main roads and has no omnibus service or means of transport. Therefore, it is little known. In fact, it is ‘ off the map.’ It has no amenities for recreation, no public-house, no cinema or public hall. Its only public buildings are a minute school and a beautiful little fifteenth century church.
In the tower of this church is the death-watch beetle. The pest has eaten into the woodwork of the belfry so that it has become a source of danger, and for some years now the peal of bells has not been rung. Thus the village has been deprived of an interest, art and recreation which countrymen enjoy in many villages—bellringing!
It is our desire and aim th at these bells should be put into repair before the Coronation of King Edward next year and that they should resound once more through the countryside on that great day. The cost will approximately be £300.
The resources of this village are very slender indeed, and we are obliged to appeal for help beyond tho boundaries of the parish if we are going to do this. We should like to do it in memory of King George and to crown King Edward, not in silence, but with the pealing of bells in every place—even in Burton Hastings.
Time passes quickly and this work will take some time to do. It must-be put in hand soon if it is to be completed by next May. In fact it is a case of he {or she) who gives quickly gives twice.
Burton Hastings at present possesses three bells (one cracked), and the object in view is to rehang the three with frames for five or six in the hope that some day the peal may be completed.
Subscriptions towards this appeal should be sent to any of the following :—
The Rev. Mostyn Robinson (Vicar of Burton Hastings), Wolvey Vicarage, Hinckley.
Mr. A. Atkins, The Old Vicarage, Burton Hastings, Hinckley.
Mr. A. Geary, Burton Hastings, Nuneaton. Mr. J . H . Beale, Shelford, Wolvey, Hinckley."

The appeal was successful and the ring of 5 was dedicated on by The Lord Bishop of Coventry on May 1st 1937. It was reported in The Ringing World of May 14th:

The bells of St. Botolph’s, Burton Hastings, were dedicated by the Lord Bishop of Coventry on Saturday, May 1st. The tiny church proved quite incapable of holding all the parishioners ana visiting ringers who desired to attend the service, aud the congregation overflowed into the church walk aud the village street.
The church had three bells, and two trebles have been added to make them into a ring of five. The cracked teuor bell has been recast and the peal hung lower down in the tower, with new fittings and new framework. The inscriptions are as follows:—
Treble.—3 cwt. 1 qr. 18 lb. Note F sharp. J. Taylor and Co., Loughborough, 1937. This peal was augmented to five bells by the Barron Bell Trust, 1937. Emma Barron, Founder; F. Hopkins, C. M. Walroud, W . H. Eldred, Trustees.
Second—3 cwt. 3 qr. 1 lb. Note E. J. Taylor and Co., Loughborough, 1937. To commemorate the Crowning of King George VI.
Third.— 4 cwt. 1 qr. 6 lb. Note D sharp. Bryanus Eldridge me faeit, 1659.
Fourth.-—5 cwt. 1 lb. Note C sharp. Henry Bagley made nice, 1687.
Tenor.—6 cwt. 3 qr. 9 lb. Note B. Praise God onli.
This bell was badly crackcd and has been recast; its date is probably about 1600. The original inscription has been perpetuated.
The service was conducted by the Rev. Mostyn Robinson (Vicar of Wolvey with Burton Hastings). Special prayers were said, and the service took the form of shortened evensong.
During the singing of a hymn, a procession was formed and made its way to the west end of the church, where the Bishop, whilst holding a bell rope, dedicated the bells, and asked the Vicar and churchwardens to receive them for the service and glory of God.
Immediately after this a few rounds were rung by the Burton Hastings and Wolvey ringers.
In the course of a striking address the Bishop spoke of the church, which had come down through the ages and yet still stood at the centre of their village life. It was his privilege to thank all who had helped in bringing about that day, so that a dream could be realised, that of Burton’s bells ringing for the Coronation. With regard to the bells, they could not have them sending out their message without the ringers. Change ringing was a true English custom. There was hardly any other country where the bells were rung like they were in England. People did all sorts of queer things with bells. When the bells of Jerusalem were broadcast, he knew it was said that people wished bellringers from England had been there to ring them. He hoped there would always be the bellringers and that their relationships with the Vicar and congregation would always be of the best.
It was no good, the Bishop continued, dedicating bells to the glory of God unless there were people who were going to answer the summons and call. The bells spoke of the harmony which marked a Christian congregation; expressed sympathy at times of sorrow and joy; whilst they also bore witness to the love of Christ. There were many who never said a word in season about what Christianity had done for them. They might talk about the English reserve in making excuses for that, but he thought it was everyone’s duty to tell it out, like the bells, into the streets, the workshops and everywhere.
Immediately after the service a representative band rang the first touch on the bells, and then they were thrown open to visiting ringers. The ringers were also entertained to tea in the Parish Schools by the kindness of the Vicar."

The first peal on the bells was rung in June 1937. The Ringing World of July 16th tells us, "The five oldest Wolvey ringers rang the first peal on the bells of Burton Hastings, Warwickshire, on June 26th. The peal was a compliment to Mr. J. P. Toone, of High Cross, grandfather of the conductor (Mr. Joseph H. Beale), and father of Mr. P. Toone, churchwarden of Wolvey."


The frame is layout 5.1, but is set out so that a treble could be added - the current treble's wheel-side H-Frame has a spare bearing plate ready for future augmentation, if this ever happens. The old bells retain their canons, whilst the new ones were cast with flat heads. The old bells have been quarter turned.

Entrance is from inside the church via the south door and a few cars can park in the road beside the churchyard wall.

Details of the Bells

1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1937  3-1-18  24.50"   1515.0Hz (F#+40c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1937  3-3-01  26.00"   1351.0Hz (E+42c)
3 Bryan Eldridge, Coventry        1657  4-1-06  27.625"  1275.0Hz (D#+42c)
4 Henry Bagley II, Chacombe       1687  5-0-01  29.625"  1135.0Hz (C#+41c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1937  6-3-09  32.50"   1011.0Hz (B+40c)

Photo Gallery

The Treble The Second The Third The Fourth The Tenor
The Treble Bell The Second Bell The Third Bell The Fourth Bell The Tenor Bell
The Front Three  hastings3_small  
The Front Three Bells   Looking Towards The Ringing Chamber   
hastings6_small hastings hastings4_small hastings2_small hastings5_small
The Small Ringing Chamber The Church - Looking East Evidence of
a Rood Loft
The Sanctuary The Modern Window
in the North Wall

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