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COUGHTON St Peter 6, 11-2-20 in F#

Grid Reference 150/083605 Coughton Church - Source M Chester
Postcode B49 5JA
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday Not Known
Practice Wednesday 1945-2100 (Check)


The church is situated next to Coughton Court, the home of the Throckmorton family of Gunpowder Plot fame. The house is now in the care of the National Trust - look for the signs for public entrance.  

The church was originally built, as a Catholic Church, by Sir Robert Throckmorton, in the early fifteenth century. It was handed over in the 1530s, during the reformation, to the Church of England.  

There are several fine tombs commemorating the family in the church and, on the South wall, a "Dole Basket"; a relatively rare item from which bread was "doled" out to the needy at set times of the year.

The Catholic Church of St Peter, St Paul and St Elizabeth, which is close to St Peter's was commissioned by Sir Robert Throckmorton, 8th Baronet, in 1857, soon after the Emancipation Acts were passed which permitted the building of non-Anglican places of worship. 

Until fairly recently the bells were a very difficult ground floor ring in a wooden frame with very large wheels making the bells turn slowly. Great local efforts raised the necessary money and in 1991 they were rehung lower in the tower, in a metal frame, (one above five, the treble partly inside the bottom of the pit previously occupied by the tenor in the old frame as the space for the new frame was restricted) and moved to an upstairs ringing room.

The old frame dates from 1686, when the 6 bells were cast, and it has been retained in the tower, along with the Carr fittings. This frame had the fourth bell raised above the others. Before that date there were only three bells, the tenor weighing around 18 cwt. These bells were deliberately broken and disabled by Sir Robert Throckmoreton and "a crew of evell popishly affected persons".

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

Coughton Inscriptions

The bells were rehung in the existing frame and quarter-turned by Carrs of Smethwick in 1893, the re-opening being reported in Bell News on November 4th 1893:

(Click to enlarge)

An article about the then clock appeared in the Bell News of May 7th 2010:

At Coughton, a tiny Warwickshire village, there is an ancient church dated 1525. Inside the belfry is a large wooden case, which stands about seven feet high and four feet wide. Inside this case is an old iron clock, which was made by the blacksmith of Coughton over 300 years ago. The clock has no face, and instead of a key to wind it up with, it is wound up by means of two wooden rollers, round which very strong thick cords are wound. When the clock strikes the hour, it can be distinctly heard four miles away. In church when the clock is in motion, it sounds exaclty like some one chopping sticks outside. The church has also a lovely old tower, but no spire, and has the sweetest peal of six bells anywhere in the neighbourhood."

An article on the church and bells then appeared in The Ringing World of April 10th 1953:

The first peal on the bells, Plain Bob Minor, was rung on 15th January 1977.

Before the restoration of 1991 the bells had previously been refitted by Charles Carr of Smethwick in 1893. It is presumably at this earlier point that the canons were knocked off the tenor. The front 5 are hung on canon-retaining headstocks. The second shows signs of chip-tuning, but none of the others do. The cast iron frame is by Taylors, with H sections below for the back 5 and a lowside frame for the treble on top. The bells were not tuned at the restoration.

The 1991 restoration was reported in The Ringing World of January 24th 1992:

The stairs from the bottom of the tower up to the bells is very tight indeed and large people, such as myself, have great difficulty in getting up to the bells!

The tenor frequency equates to F#+14c and is therefore not in the key of F as has been up to Edition 9 reported in Dove hardcopy editions

Details of the Bells

1 Henry & Matthew Bagley, Chacombe  1686   4-3-25  28.75"   1270.0Hz (D#+35c)
2 Henry & Matthew Bagley, Chacombe  1686   5-2-13  30.00"   1157.0Hz (C#+74c)
3 Henry & Matthew Bagley, Chacombe  1686   6-1-00  32.25"   1034.0Hz (B#-21c)
4 Henry & Matthew Bagley, Chacombe  1686   7-2-04  33.625"   943.0Hz (A#+20c)
5 Henry & Matthew Bagley, Chacombe  1686   8-3-00  36.75"    847.0Hz (G#+34c)
6 Henry & Matthew Bagley, Chacombe  1686  11-2-20  42.00"    746.0Hz (F#+14c)

Photo Gallery

coughton_east_small coughton_west_small  
The Church -
Looking East
The Church - 
Looking West
coughton_ringing_room_small coughton_dole_small  
The Ringing Room The Dole Basket  
coughton_tomb_small coughton_tomb2_small coughton_tomb3_small
Some of the fine tombs inside the church

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