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CURDWORTH SS Nicholas & Peter ad Vincula 3, 7½cwt in A

Grid Reference 139/177928 Curdworth Church - Source: M Chester
Postcode B76 9ES
Affiliation St Martin's Guild
Peals None
Sunday None
Practice None


The present Church of St Nicholas and St Peter ad Vincula is of Norman origin (1170–1190), established in 1165 when the Augustinian Canons of the Abbey of St Mary de Pratis, Leicester were granted the right to present a priest to the parish. The church was lengthened in the 14th century and the Perpendicular style tower was added in 1460 by the Earl of Warwick, but it was never finished with its intended spire. Late in the 15th century the nave was extended by about a third and the west tower was built. The south porch was probably added at the same time, but this was rebuilt on the old base in 1800. By this time the building had fallen into disrepair and was restored in typical 18th-century fashion. The 12th-century windows were blocked, the 15th-century gothic windows had their mullions removed and were fitted with iron casements, the steep-pitched medieval roofs were replaced by low-pitched slate roofs. In 1895 the church was again restored in typical 19th-century fashion with the idea of bringing the church back to its medieval origins. The blocked windows were opened, the missing tracery on other windows was replaced and new roofs of higher pitch were built. A carved stone Saxon font was recovered during refurbishments to the church by Lord Norton. The font had been buried under the nave floor, possibly during the Reformation, and indicates that a church has been present on the site since Saxon times. This font has been in use ever since its rediscovery.

These hang in an old wooden frame, fittings being renewed by James Barwell of Birmingham in 1905 at a cost of £38. There was work carried out on the bells a while back by the late Gordon Lane of Kingsbury to ensure that they remain ringable. They are an anti-clockwise ring and the tuning is 1,2,4 of 5. The tenor's note is exactly half way between A and Bb.

This work was reported in "Church Bells" magazine on January 12th 1906:


The trebles was cast in 1663 by John Martin of Worcester and it is not a good bell. The second was recast by Thomas Eayre I in Kettering in 1756, at a cost of £14/3/6 for the bell and rehanging the three. The old bell weighed 6-3-21. The founder of the tenor is unknown. The frame itself was probably installed in the middle of the seventeenth century and is "listed". All the bells have been quarter turned and retain their canons. The treble has been tuned to raise its strike note, the other two being maiden castings.

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

The bells were described by the renown bell historian, Christopher Dalton, in The Ringing World of April 25th 2003:

"... a pleasant (and ringable) ring of three hangs in an attractive old frame, easily reached up a good spiral staircase. Our visit was really just to check details and see if we agreed on the likely date of the frame. As the three bells are about as dissimilar from each other as you could get, they are especially interesting to bell historians. The treble, by John Martin of Worcester, is typically dumpy and not very well-cast. The second, well-finished and with a tall crown is by Thomas Eayre of Kettering; unfortunately it is rather mournful-sounding, with its very flat ‘fundamental’ or ‘prime’ tone. The tenor is a handsome and lovable-sounding bell by an unknown pre-Reformation founder. The bells hang in a good, if rather over-tall, mid-17th century frame with excellent early 20th century fittings by Barwell – reminding us that it will be a sad day when (and if) all fittings by minor bellhangers of the past have been swept away. Such fittings most often remain, of course, in towers like this with lesser numbers of bells (and ringers)."

There is normally a chiming rope attached to the tenor and this needs to be switched on the wheel with the ringing rope before the bells can be rung. You can see the old car wheel in the tenor pit round which the rope is coiled.

Details of the Bells

1 John Martin, Worcester     1663  5 cwt   29.375"  1192.5Hz (D+26c)
2 Thomas Eayre I Kettering   1756  5¾ cwt  30.50"   1064.5Hz (C+30c)
3 Midland founder,          C14th  7½ cwt  34.25"    906.0Hz (A+50c)

Photo Gallery

curdworth1_small curdworth2_small curdworth3_small
The Treble The Second The Tenor

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