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SHUSTOKE St Cuthbert 6, 10½cwt in G# Minor

Grid Reference 139/243910 Shustoke Church - Source: David Kelly
Postcode B46 2LD
Recording None Available
Affiliation St Martin's Guild
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 0900-0930 (1 & 3)
Practice Tuesday 2000-2100


The church consists of a chancel with a north organchamber, nave, south porch, and west tower with a spire. The church was erected in the time of Edward II, according to Dugdale on the evidence of a figure in a north window of John, Lord Mowbray, who was probably a benefactor of the new church. The top stage of the tower (resembling that at Sheldon, dated 1461) and the spire were added in the second half of the 15th century. The building was restored in 1873, at a cost of £3,000, when the chancel and porch were rebuilt. Lightning in 1886 destroyed the roofs and internal fittings and restoration in 1887 cost £6,000. Out of many Dugdale monuments mentioned in Dugdale only that of the antiquary himself survives. A sketch of the church made in 1854 shows the building much as it is now except for the east window, which was a large round-headed light, and the angle buttresses, which were shallow and wide instead of diagonal.

These bells are tonally "different" to most rings of 6, being in the "minor" key. They sound the notes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 of a ring of 8. The frame for six is dated 1769, but there were only five bells until 1950. The inscription on the 3rd bell of 6 clearly indicates that Bagley installed a ring of 5 in 1698. The inscriptions up to this point are given in Tilley and Walters' book, "The Church Bells of Warwickshire":

The present second, dated 1887, was recast after lightning damage to the spire in 1886 and its fittings are by Taylors. Originally it was by William Brooke of Bromsgrove, 1736, though it was delivered to Edgbaston. The same bell had previously been recast there in 1733, at the second attempt to get a good bell. The two tenors were recast at Whitechapel in 1768. The back four were rehung in 1883 by Robert Summers of Tamworth in Arden, a millwright who also worked as a bellhanger, at a cost of £85/10/-. Taylors rehung the back five on ball bearings in 1924. None of the bells have been quarter turned.

The first peal on the bells was rung in July of 1955:

This "spired" church is easily visible from some distance and is situated at the "Furnace End" edge of the village.

I would suggest that you organise your visit during opening times as "The Griffin" by the church is a real ale drinkers' paradise! It sells a wide range of well kept beer. Definitely recommended - it has a large conservatory on the side in which children are made welcome. However, food is not available during the evening.

Details of the Bells

1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1950  3-2-3   25.50"   1377.5Hz (E#-24c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough  1887  4-2-0   27.25"   1233.5Hz (D#-15c)
3 William Bagley, Chacombe        1698  4¾cwt   28.75"   1093.0Hz (C#-25c)
4 William Bagley, Chacombe        1698  5¼cwt   30.75"    964.0Hz (B-42c)
5 Lester and Pack, Whitechapel    1768  7½cwt   34.00"    920.5Hz (A#-22c)
6 Lester and Pack, Whitechapel    1768  10½cwt  39.125"   811.5Hz (G#-40c)

Photo Gallery

The Church - looking East. Source: Sandwell Ramblers
The Church - Looking East
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