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KNOWLE* SS John the Baptist, St Lawrence & St Anne 8, 9-3-7 in G

Grid Reference 139/182767 Knowle Church - Source: M Chester
Postcode B93 0JB
Affiliation St Martin's Guild
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 0845-0930 & 1745-1830 (often a QP)
Practice Monday 1930-2100


Knowle Parish Church first opened in 1403. The hamlet of Cnolle was within the manor and parish of Hampton-in-Arden. The church at Hampton was a three-mile walk away, not too easy for the parishioners in Knowle to reach when the un-bridged River Blythe was in flood. Knowle got its own church through the initiative and funding of a wealthy benefactor – but remained a daughter church of Hampton for over 400 years, until 1858, when it finally became a parish in its own right. The church was saved from the destruction common to many at the time of the Reformation because the villagers of Knowle pleaded that crossing the River Blythe to the parish church at Hampton was often impossible and that they needed their church in Knowle.

Until the end of the 19th century, the tower contained three old bells, tenor c.7cwt, by Matthew Bagley of Evesham, dated 1687 and transported up the River Avon to Warwick or Stratford before being brought to Knowle by road by John Simons. The bells cost £30.

Despite a quotation being obtained from Taylors in 1877 for augmentation to 6, it was not until Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubillee that these bells were replaced by a ring of six in 1897. The new bells (tenor 10-0-7) were cast by James Barwell of Birmingham. Originally two of the existing bells were to be retained, but they did not fit in with the ring and were recast instead. They were hung in a composite frame. The following appeared in "Bell News" on August 14th 1897:

(Click to enlarge)

The inscriptions of the Barwell ring of 6 are given in Tilley and Walter's book, "The Church Bells of Warwickshire":

Taylors then recast the cracked fifth and added two trebles in 1931. The remaining Barwell bells were recast, again by Taylors, in 1979, when the eight bells were rehung with new fittings in a new frame and the three 1931 bells quarter turned. The tenor is in the key equivalent to G+11c. The augmentation was reported in The Ringing World of October 2nd 1931:

The first peal on the ring of 8 was rung shorly afterwards:

An article about the bells was published in The Ringing World of June 6th 1952,  in which the old trebles' inscriptions can be found: The tower was also featured in the edition  of November 18th 1977:
(Click to enlarge) (Click to enlarge)

The success of the later project to replace the "non-Taylor" bells was the subject of an article in The Ringing World of December 14th 1979:

(Click images to enlarge)

The first peal on the new ring was not long in coming:

The then record peal of London Surprise Major, 14,336 changes, was rung here on 1/11/1980 and the current record of Stedman Triples, 20160 changes, was rung here on May 9th 1981.

The church is on the main street and there is a public car park nearby. 

Details of the Bells

1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1931   3-2-00  24.25"   1581.0Hz (G+14c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1931   3-3-08  25.00"   1490.0Hz (F#+12c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1979   3-2-00  25.375"  1329.0Hz (E+14c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1979   3-3-02  26.875"  1182.0Hz (D+11c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1979   4-2-09  29.00"   1056.0Hz (C+16c)
6 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1979   5-3-03  31.00"    995.0Hz (B+13c)
7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1931   7-1-10  33.875"   886.0hz (A+12c)
8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1979   9-3-07  38.00"    789.0Hz (G+11c)

Details of the Barwell Bells

1 James Barwell, Birmingham       1897   4-1-00  27.00"
2 James Barwell, Birmingham       1897   4-2-01  28.50"
3 James Barwell, Birmingham       1897   5-1-14  30.50"
4 James Barwell, Birmingham       1897   5-2-26  32.00"
5 James Barwell, Birmingham       1897   7-2-24  35.00"
6 James Barwell, Birmingham       1897  10-0-07  39.00"

Photo Gallery

The Church - Looking East. Source: Aidan MacRae Thomson The Church - Looking West. Source: Aidan MacRae Thomson
The Church - Looking East The Church - Looking West
The Stedman Record. Source: Michael Chester The London Record. Source: Michael Chester
The Stedman Record Peal The London Record Peal

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