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FARNBOROUGH St Botolph 6 6-1-12 in Bb

Grid Reference 151/434496 Farnborough Church - Source: M Chester
Postcode OX17 1DZ
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday By Arrangement
Practice None


Set in deepest South-east Warwickshire this is a nice place to spend some time. The church is up a fairly narrow dead end and it might be best to park along the main road if you are in a party of more than a few vehicles.

This beautiful medieval building is one of only 64 churches in Britain dedicated to Botolph, a 7th century East Anglian saint associated with miracles of healing. The link to Botolph at Farnborough is probably linked to an ancient holy well near the churchyard. The church dates to the 12th century, but was extensively rebuilt in the 14th century and enlarged by Giles Gilbert Scott in 1875. One of the oldest parts of the church is the south doorway, which has an unusual tympanum carved in a fish-scale design. The porch itself is 14th century, as is the lowest part of the west tower. The second section of the tower was rebuilt in 1611, and topped by a slender spire in the 19th century rebuilding. The nave is largely Norman, and the Norman chancel arch shows traditional carving in a lozenge-chain pattern. Just above the pulpit is a carved head of a man, while at the western end of the nave arcade is a beautifully preserved carved head of a woman wearing a crown. We don't know who either figure is supposed to represent. The chancel is later than the nave, sometime around 1340 , based on the window style. There is a piscina to the south of the altar and a stone cupboard to the north.

The original 3 bells were recast by W & J Taylor in 1844. at a cost of £57 14s 6d. When the church was restored in 1875, at which time the tower was raised in height and a spire added, the bells were augmented to 5 by Warners with the adding of a treble and tenor. The inscriptons at this time are given in Tilley and Walters' book, "The Church Bells of Warwickshire":

The bells were further augmented to 6 in 1963 and are a pretty ring. Cast iron frame and modern fittings are by Mears & Stainbank, 1963. The new bell was cast with a flat top and the canons of the others removed and bells 2, 4 & 5 have been one-eighth turned and bells 3 and 6 have been quarter turned. You can see them turning by looking through the louvres from the south side. The trebles' inscription is:

J.W. NEWTON               }
19 (Whitechapel mark) 63

1897 - 1960

The following appeared in The Ringing World of June 28th 1963:

The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt. Rev. Cuthbert Bardsley, dedicated a new treble bell and blessed the restored bells and belfry at St. Botolph’s Parish Church. Farnborough, on May 12th, at morning service.
The new bell and restoration work was a gift to the church from Dr. C. H. Budge, in memory of his late wife, who is buried in the churchyard. She died in June, 1960.
A large congregation, including the donor and personal friends, were present, the service being conducted by the Vicar, Canon H. A. Hayden. The new treble was rung by the donor during the service of dedication. It was then raised and was rung in rounds by members of the local band of ringers, who also opened the ringing at the conclusion of the service.
The ‘Bishop, in his address, said. ‘ The donor has obviously known a lot about love, because love and generosity go hand in hand. When he loves much he gives much. He knows only the best will do. He has given this lavish, loving and lasting gift to the church in memory of his wife, who is now parted irorn him for a time. His love was so great that he gave.’
Dr. Budge's gift has given the parish a very musical six in place of the old five, which were very badly in need of rehanging, and also out of tune. Incidentally. this is the second five to be made into six in the Coventry Diocese, as on March 24th the rehung five at Stoneleigh were augmented to six by Taylors, of Loughborough. The rehanging and new treble work at Farnborough was carried out by Messrs. Mears and Stainbank, and in each case a very good splice has been made.
J. L. G.-H."

The first peal on the bells was rung in 1963:

This side is where you enter the church and find a short vertical ladder to the ringing room. There is a sanctus bell, 12" in diameter hung for swing chiming in a space between the pit of the tenor and the south wall.

Details of the Bells

1 Mears & Stainbank, London  1963  3-2-14  24.50"  1520.5Hz (Gb+47c)
2 John Warner, London        1875  3-2-03  26.00"  1370.5Hz (F-33c)
3 W & J Taylor, Oxford       1844  3-1-20  27.00"  1222.0Hz (Eb-32c)
4 W & J Taylor, Oxford       1844  4-0-25  28.50"  1145.0Hz (D-44c)
5 W & J Taylor, Oxford       1844  4-3-03  31.00"  1026.0Hz (C-34c)
6 John Warner, London        1875  6-1-12  34.00"   911.5Hz (Bb-39c)

Photo Gallery

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Looking West Towards
the Ringing Room
Looking East
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A Closer Look at the Ringing Chamber Inside the Compact Ringing Chamber

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