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RYTON ON DUNSMORE St Leonard 8, 9-3-6 in F#

Grid Reference 140/386745 Ryton on  Dunsmore Church - Source: M Chester
Postcode CV8 3EW
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 0930-1000 (1 & 3)
Practice Tuesday 1830-1930


The church  is situated on the north side of the main Coventry-Northampton road, on a level site in the centre of a large churchyard. It consists of chancel, nave, west tower, vestry, and a south porch. It was built of red sandstone rubble with worked dressings late in the 11th century, probably consisting of a chancel and nave, and it was apparently not until the 15th century that a west tower was added. A vestry with a gallery over was added in the 19th century, and more recently the south porch was rebuilt. The tower is a lofty and imposing structure, out of proportion to so small a church, and the presence of angle buttresses on its east side, which make a very awkward junction with the nave, suggests that it was intended to rebuild the body of the church on a similar scale.

For a long time this tower contained an unringable three, last being rehung in 1818 at a cost of £28. The headstock of the treble was replaced by Mears in 1864/5 when they repaired the ironwork, turned the gudgeons and supplied new brass bearings, all for £4. The headstocks of the other bells were replaced, probably locally, in 1905. The Mears bell, formerly the treble of three, was cast to replace a cracked mediaval bell, by Richard Seliok in about 1530, at a cost of £22/5/6. It is possible that the tenor bell, which alone of the old bells retains its canons, was cast in Coventry as John Martin was working there at this time when he cast a bell for Fillongley. The tenor is F#+23c.

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

The ring was rehung and augmented in two stages, first to 6 in an 8-bell cast iron and steel frame in 1988 and then to 8 some three years later. All this work was undertaken by Taylors. The augmentation to six was noted in the "Foundry Focus" article in The Ringing World of February 10th 1989: "The ambitious project at St. Leonard's Church, Ryton-on-Dunsmore in Warwickshire has seen the three bells restored and hung in a new frame designed complete for eight along with the provision of three new trebles, to make six. The tenor weight here is 9-3-4 in F sharp. The vicar, the Reverend Trevor Sykes, is also padre at the Police Training College situated in the parish of Ryton and the Police College assisted the project by purchasing the 2nd of six. This bell therefore bears the badge of the Police Training College."

The first quarter peal was rung fairly the year after the restoration:

The augmentation to 8 was the front page article in The Ringing World of June 21st 1991.

The first peal on the bells was not until after the further augmentation to eight:

This church is on the main A45 road from Coventry towards the M1 and is on its north side, just after the former Peugeot car plant. Turn in just before the church and park by the churchyard wall.New housing directly opposite the church restricts ringing a little. Do be careful when visiting - there are a couple of cunningly hidden speed cameras on the main road leading up to the church; from both directions!

Details of the Bells

1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough   1991  3-3-18  25.50"   1504.0Hz (F#+28c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough   1991  4-0-12  25.875"  1413.0Hz (Ex+20c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough   1988  4-1-12  27.25"   1253.0Hz (D#+12c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough   1988  5-1-04  29.50"   1123.0Hz (C#+22c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough   1988  6-1-00  31.75"   1008.0Hz (B+35c)
6 George Mears & Co, London        1864  6-1-12  34.00"    935.0Hz (A#+5c)
7 William Watts, Leicester        c1590  8-2-00  35.875"   844.0Hz (G#+28c)
8 John Martin, Worcester           1653  9-3-06  39.50"    750.0Hz (F#+23c)

Photo Gallery

The Church - Looking East. Source: Covltwt The Church - Looking West. Source: Covltwt 
 The Church - Looking East The Church - Looking West  
ryton3_small.jpg ryton_sykes_small.jpg ryton7th_small
The three old bells
arrive at Taylors in 1988
The late Rev Trevor Sykes,
who was instrumental in
getting the bells restored
The then 5th, Now 7th,
after retuning
ryton6_small.jpg ryton2_small.jpg  
The six bells in
the church in 1988
Two of the three new
1988 bells in the church

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