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MANCETTER St Peter 5, 20½cwt in Eb Anticlockwise

Grid Reference 140/320697 Mancetter Church - Source Aidan MacRae Thomson
Postcode CV9 1NJ
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 1000-1030 & 1800-1830 (Check)
Practice Monday 1930-2100 (1st only - Check)


This is a well kept church just on the south-west side of Atherstone. The tower is clearly visible on the left of the road from the A5 going towards the town. The A5 being part of the Warwickshire/ Leicestershire border means the tower with a spire close to the right side of the road is Witherley, only a few hundred yards from St Peter's, but in a different county and Diocese! There is a church car park up the road between the church and the next door pub. Entrance is via a door on the south side of the tower, the opposite side to the car park.

The church consists of a comparatively long chancel, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, and west tower with a modern vestry north of it. The walls are built of various local stones and the roofs are tiled. There is evidence of 12th-century origin in the masonry of the chancel walls, but apparently nave and chancel were remodelled or rebuilt fairly early in the 13th century. In the second half of the 13th century a north aisle was built, with the arcade of three bays, but it was widened to its present limits nearly a century later. The south aisle and arcade seem to have been complete additions of the early 15th century. One peculiar feature is that the nave-angles (except the north-western) have buttresses that are not in line with the arcades but outside them, as though the nave was originally wider and the arcades were built within the church before the side walls were pulled down.

A wonderful belfry with five bells of great beauty and interest. The frame is by Thomas Eayre of Kettering, at a cost of £76 in 1751, there being a still unfilled pit for a treble! Fittings were renewed by Mears & Stainbank in 1928, costing £128. The first peal on the bells was rung in the same year:

 The following appeared in The Ringing World of September 14th 1928:

A peal rung on the five bells at Mancetter, Warwickshire, is a reminder that the whole ring is of great age. Nevertheless the tenor is a very fine old bell, in E flat, about 10½ cwt. (sic.) (diameter 48½ inches).
The treble is by Thomas Hancox, of Walsall, 1633 (diameter 34) inches, weight about 7½ cwt.).
The second is a very old bell, probably by Johannes de York, ur from the foundry of William Noble or Thomas Innocent. It may date from about 1420 (diameter 36 inches, weight 8¾ cwt.).
The third was cast in 1641 by Hugh Watts (diameter 39½ inches, weight 11 cwt.
The fourth is the oldest bell. Its founder was John Hose, 1352-1366, whose cottage, near All Saints’ Church, Leicester, is mentioned in 1352, and in tbe Merchant Guild entries of 1366 (diameter 44 inches, weight 15 cwt.).
The tenor is by George Oldfield, of Nottingham, 1647.
Although the present bells are a ring of veritable veterans, they could be augmented to make a grand ring of eight.
The bells nave been rehung by Messrs. Mears and Stainbank.

All the bells, which have each been quarter turned, retain their canons and are, with the exception of the third, listed.  A new headstock has been fitted to the tenor in relatively recent times. The bells go well, having had some attention fairly recently from Eayre and Smith, a ring beam being put into strengthen the tower. The tenor was rehung on a new headstock in 2004/5.

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

A picture of the frame construction, taken by the noted bell historian Christopher Dalton, appeared in The Ringing World of March 30th 1990:

Worth a visit!

Details of the Bells

1 Thomas Hancox, Walsall          1633   8cwt   36.00"  962.0Hz B-46c
2 Leicester                      C15th   9cwt   36.93"  862.0Hz A-36c
3 Hugh Watts II, Leicester        1641  10cwt   39.50"  805.5Hz G#-53c
4 John Hose, Leicester           c1350  15cwt   44.75"  721.5Hz F#-44c
5 George Oldfield I, Nottingham   1647  20½cwt  48.56"  640.5Hc E-50c

Photo Gallery

The Church - Looking East. Source: Mike Chester The Church - Looking West. Source: Mike Chester
The Church - Looking East The Church - Looking West
The Sanctuary. Source: Mike Chester The Ringing. Source: Mike Chester
The Sancutary The Ringing Chamber
note the previous tenor clapper
The Tenor Headstock. Source: Mike Chester  
The previous tenor headstock   

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