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KINGS NORTON* St Nicolas 10, 17-1-6 in E - Ringing Suspended: Tower Work

Grid Reference 139/049789 Kings Norton Church - Source: Genuki
Postcode B38 8TW
Affiliation St Martin's Guild &  Worcs & Districts Assoc
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 0945-1030
Practice Tuesday 1945-2100
Other Information Church Website


This is one of a number of Birmingham churches that were not within the county of Warwickshire when their areas were absorbed into the city. Historically Kiongs Norton was part of Worcestershire and the church ringers retain links with the associations for both of Birmingham and Worcester. Once a relatively small village, the town grew, in terms of its population, when it was linked to elsewhere. In 1796 it was linked to the canal system. Kings Norton Junction is where the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal terminates and meets the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. In 1849 the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway opened its station in the town. From 1898 Kings Norton was part of the "King's Norton and Northfield Urban District", until this was added to Birmingham in 1911 by the Greater Birmingham Act. Hence, it was geographically in Warwickshire, but never administered from Warwick; Birmingham being a Country Borough.

The church itself was originally built by the Normans. It was extensively rebuilt in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and the magnificent tower and spire was added in the fifteenth century. There were further major works to the church in the 1860s and 1870s.

Today the tower contains a good ring of 10 cast in the mid-1920s, but hung in an earlier composite frame. The frame was installed by Taylors in 1892 and afterwards reconstructed for 10 bells by the same firm.

In the 1552 survey there were four bells in the tower. Subsequently, a ring of 6 was cast, probably by William Bagley in around 1690. In 1783 the Bagley bells were replaced by a new ring of eight, cast by Chapman and Mears of Whitechapel, the tenor being approx. 15 cwt. The new bells were cast by Chapman and Mears of Whitechapel.

The fifth was broken in an accident and was recast by Thomas Mears of Whitechapel in 1826. The seventh and treble bells were recast in 1867 by Blews and Sons of Birmingham. The sixth was replaced by a stock bell by Taylors in 1892, at which time the ring was rehung. Taylors recast the fourth in 1905 and this is the only bell that remains in the ring today, as the sixth. The ring, apart from the fourth, was recast in 1924 and augmented to 10 within two years.

The following was reported in Bell News in the edition of October 14th 1905:

"King’s Norton (Worcestershire). Midland Counties Association. Eight bells; all but 4th by Eayre; treble and 2nd, undated); 3rd, 5th and 5th, 1760; 7th and tenor, 1764 ; 4th, 1627. Tenor 25 cwt., diameter 4 ft. 2 in. Timber frame. Bells go well. Ropes of various ages. No half-pull or Sunday ringing. Practice: Saturday, 7."

The dedication of the 8 in 1924 was reported in The Ringing World of 14th November:

(Click to enlarge)

The first peal on the new ring of 8 was rung in 1925:

Details of the inscriptions of the old ring and the ring of 8 are given by H. B Walters in his book, "Church Bells of Worcestershire":

The augmentation to 10 followed quickly and the dedication of the two new trebles was reported in The Ringing World of December 31st 1926:

The first peal on the 10 was rung in 1928:. The time taken would thought to be very slow theses days!

The tower was the "Front Page Church" in The Ringing World of January 7th 1977:

(Click to enlarge)

(Most of the bell information is quoted directly (with permission) from the research notes of Chris Pickford)

Details of the Bells

 1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1926   4-2-11  25.00"   1658.0Hz (G#-3c)
 2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1926   4-3-22  26.00"   1480.0Hz (F#+0c)
 3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1924   4-1-11  27.125"  1315.0Hz (E-5c)
 4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1924   4-2-11  28.00"   1240.0Hz (D#6c)
 5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1924   5-2-21  30.375"  1104.5Hz (C#-7c)
 6 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1905   6-3-13  33.125"   983.5Hz (B-7c)
 7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1924   7-1-19  34.875"   877.0Hz (A-6c)
 8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1924   9-1-11  37.125"   828.0Hz (G#-5c)
 9 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1924  13-0-06  41.125"   737.0Hz (F#-7c)
10 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1924  17-1-06  45.875"   656.0Hz (E-9c)

Details of the Bells in 1924

1 William Blews & Sons, Birmingham 1867   5-1-07  29.00"   1420.0Hz (F+28c)
2 Chapman & Mears, London          1783   5-1-20  29.875"  1288.0Hz (E-41c)
3 Chapman & Mears, London          1783   5-3-11  31.50"   1211.0Hz (D+53c)
4 Chapman & Mears, London          1783   6-3-18  33.875"   983.5Hz (C-107c)
5 Thomas Mears, London             1826   8-2-13  37.25"    918.0Hz (Bb-27c)
6 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough   1891  10-1-07  37.375"   854.0Hz (A-52c)
7 William Blews & Sons, Birmingham 1867  11-2-11  40.875"   788.0Hz (G+9c)
8 Chapman & Mears, London          1783  14-1-18  45.125"   706.0Hz (F+19c)

Photo Gallery

The Church - Looking East. Source: Jacquemart
The Church - Looking East
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