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UMBERSLADE, Baptist Church (Christ Church) 8, 8-0-10 in Ab

Grid Reference 139/146720 Umberslade Baptist Church - Source: M Chester
Postcode B94 6QY
Other Information HCT Webpage 


This church was financed by the owner of the Umberslade Estate, George Frederick Muntz, a wealthy Birmingham industrialist and staunch Baptist. It was designed by the Birmingham architect George Ingall. It was built in 1877 in Umberslade Park, the estate of Umberslade Hall, Muntz's country seat. A vestry was added to the east of the church in 1893. In the 2000s repairs, including re-roofing, were carried out by Midland Conservation Limited.  They were completed in 2008 and cost about £500,000.  The church is constructed in blue lias stone with limestone dressings. The steep roofs are of Welsh slate and are hipped and gabled. It has a four bay nave with a north porch, north and south transepts, a chancel terminating in an apse, and a southwest tower, with a spire, incorporating another porch. The style is Decorated and it is elaborately detailed.

The bells - all completely devoid of inscriptions - are hung dead and sounded from a chiming machine were provided by Gillett & Bland of Croydon in 1878, being amongst the first products of the Croydon foundry. The cost of the installation, including the carillon and clock was £705/10/-. The machine played a set of 7 tunes. They hang in a two tier wooden frame with 1, 2, 5 & 6 above the others. All have canons.

After being derelict for some years, the bells were brought back into use in 1978 when the chiming machine was restored by members of the Hockley Heath Steam Association, led by Jack Marshall. The installation is largely intact, but is out of use due to a lack of an electricity supply to the church.

Chris Pickford wrote an excellent article on this church and its bells that was published in The Ringing World of April 17th 2009:

(Click to enlarge)

The church has been closed - but the building still stands and is in the care of the Historic Chapels Trust.

Details of the Bell s 

1 Gillett & Bland, Croydon  1878  3-1-24  24.50"  1693.5Hz  (Ab+33c)
2 Gillett & Bland, Croydon  1878  3-2-24  25.00"  1600.0Hz  (G+35c)
3 Gillett & Bland, Croydon  1878  4-0-18  26.50"  1428.5Hz  (F+38c)
4 Gillett & Bland, Croydon  1878  4-0-24  27.50"  1274.5Hz  (Eb+41c)
5 Gillett & Bland, Croydon  1878  4-2-09  29.00"  1137.0Hz  (Db+43c)
6 Gillett & Bland, Croydon  1878  5-1-10  30.50"  1064.5Hz  (C+29c)
7 Gillett & Bland, Croydon  1878  6-1-20  33.00"   952.0Hz  (Bb+36c)
8 Gillett & Bland, Croydon  1878  8-0-10  36.50"   843.5Hz  (Ab+26c)

Photo Gallery 

The Church - Looking East. Source: Friends of Umberslade Chapel The Bells. Source: Friends of Umberslade Chapel The Carillon. Source: Friends of Umberslade Chapel
The Church - Looking East The Bells in the Upper Frame The Carillon Mechanism
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