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LILLINGTON St Mary Magdalene 8, 9-0-18 in F#

Grid Reference 151/325673 Lillington Church - Source M Chester
Postcode CV32 7RG
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 0900-0930
Practice Tuesday 1930-2100


Lillington has gradually become almost a suburb of Leamington Spa through the infilling of the open space between the towns by housing. You can miss the church if you are careless. It is on the left of the main road as you are driving away from Leamington Spa.

The earliest surviving parts of the present building are the possibly pre-Conquest doorway now located between the Lady Chapel and Sacristy, and the south wall of the chancel dating to the 14th century.  The Perpendicular Gothic west tower is 15th century, built in about 1480. The remainder of the church is Victorian, built or rebuilt between 1847 and 1884. An octagonal meeting room in the churchyard was built in 1987

There were only three bells until 1927. The frame is of Pynkadoe, an African hardwood, with the exception of pit for the 4th which is hung on cast iron frames (to allow access from the staircase) and the third which has a metal X shaped gate end. This and the fittings are by Mears & Stainbank, 1927. The back three retain their canons, whilst the front five were cast with flat tops. This work was reported in "The Ringing World" of March 23rd 1928:

Some months ago the three old bells which hung in the lower of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Lillington, wero taken down by Messrs. Mears and Stainhank, and sent to their foundry, where they were tuned, and five new bells added to make the octave:—
Tenor.—9 cwt. 0 qr. 18 lb., F sharp. Henry Bagley made me, 1675.
7.—8 cwt. 0 qr. 22 lb., G sharp. Hugh Watts, Leicester, 1625.
6.—7 cwt. 0 qr. 20 lb., A sharp. B y Thomas H arrys, London, aliotit 1480.
5.—5 cwt. 1 qr. 31b., B. To the glory of God and in memory of Mary Bidemead, Stratton, who passed to eternal rest, on August 14th, 1926. And little children’s voices echo answer, making Alleluia.
4.—5 cwt. 1 qr. 27 lb., C sharp. In memoriam, Mary Bidemead, Stratton.
3 . - 4 cwt. 2 qr. 24 lb., D sharp. Ditto.
2.—3 cwt. 3 qr. 24 lb. E sharp. Ditto.
Treble.—3 cwt. 3 qr. 16 lb., F sharp. Ditto.
Also on each of the new bells, M. and S., London, 1927.
The bells have been hung " in a new teak frame, with all the latest fittings, including ball bearings and iron headstocks. The cannons of the three old bells have not been removed. After the dedication took place on December 19th last, members of the Warwickshire Guild of Ringers from Rugby and Allesley rang a touch of Stedman Triples, also a course of Cambridge Surprise Major, in which Mr. A. A. Hughes, of Messrs. Mears and Stainbank, took part.
On Saturday, March 3rd, members from the same towers rang a peal of Stedman Triples upon the bells, a report of which has appeared in ' The Ringing World.' It was agreed by all the band that Messrs. Mears and Stainbank have carried out the work in a most excellent manner."

The format of the inscriptions on the back three bells is better shown in Tilley and Walters book, "The Church Bells of Warwickshire" (1910):

Details of this peal are:

A pleasant ring of bells. The front five are interesting in that they fall within the period of time when Whitechapel were beginning to adopt "Simpson Tuning".

Work was carried out in early 2007 by Nicholson's, headstocks to 1, 2, 6, 7 & 8 being replaced, the back 3 being canon retainers, and the clapper throws evened out.

Details of the Bells

1 Mears & Stainbank, London   1927  3-3-16  25.00"  1525.5Hz  (F#+52c)
2 Mears & Stainbank, London   1927  3-3-24  26.00"  1425.5Hz  (E#+35c)
3 Mears & Stainbank, London   1927  4-2-24  28.00"  1274.5Hz  (D#+41c)
4 Mears & Stainbank, London   1927  5-1-27  30.00"  1140.5Hz  (C#+49c)
5 Mears & Stainbank, London   1927  5-3-01  32.00"  1015.5Hz  (B+48c)
6 Thomas Harrys, London      c1480  7-0-20  34.00"   942.0Hz  (A#+18c)
7 Hugh Watts II, Leicester    1625  8-0-22  36.00"   854.0Hz  (G#+48c)
8 Henry Bagley I, Chacombe    1675  9-0-18  38.50"   758.5Hz  (F#+43c)

Photo Gallery

lillingtoncanon_small lillingtonfourth_small lillingtonfourthstay_small
The style of canon retaining
headstock on the back 3 bells.
The Fourth in
its Metal Frame
The Fourth's stay -
the shortest on record?
The Church in 1805. Source: Wikipedia  
The Church in c.1805  

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