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COVENTRY* - STOKE St Michael, Stoke 8, 13-1-9 in F# (GF)

Grid Reference 140/358795 Stoke in Coventry Church - Source:
Postcode CV2 4BG
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 1030-1100
Practice Wednesday 1930-2100
Other Information Church Website


The foundation of the church is said to date to 1100 when Hugh, the Earl of Chester, built a church on the site. Sometime during King Stephen’s reign (1135-54) the fourth Earl of Chester, Ranulph, gave all the churches in his possession (among them Stoke) to the Priory of St Mary. The Prior then arranged for priests from the priory to come out to Stoke to take services. Nothing of this building remains. The oldest part of the church today is the tower dating to the 14th century. This church consisted of a short nave and south isle together with a small chancel extending east from the nave. by the early 19th century more space was needed in church. In 1822 a short north aisle was added – similar in length to the existing south aisle. A gallery at the rear of the nave provided extra space. There was also a vestry linked to the chancel by this time. In 1861 a major building programme was commenced. Both aisles and nave were doubled in length and a new chancel was built. The old roofs were taken down and a higher steeper one was constructed. In 1937 the population of Stoke had risen to 19,000 and alterations and additions to the church continued. The stone screen with plate glass above, at the entrance to the tower, was erected in 1908. This was in memory of William Pridmore, who among other duties was the last lay rector. In 1920 the porch was rebuilt as a memorial to those who died in the 1914-18 war. Two years later in 1922 a carved oak screen was erected at the chancel step. In 1930 vestries for clergy and choir were built out from the north aisle. In 1950 another major programme of extension was undertaken with both the north and south aisles extended eastwards and the chancel was also extended a further 4 metres. Two broad arches were introduced to link what is now the Lady Chapel on the north side of the chancel and an organ chamber on the south. Finally in 1992 the chancel screen was removed to open up again the unity and spaciousness of the whole building and the font which had been situated next to a pillar at the rear of the south aisle was moved nearer the door to allow families to gather easily around for baptism.  The pews were removed in 2016 as part of a church refurbishment programme.

The bells were originally three in number and had been derelict for over 40 years before anything was done. The augmentation was a complicated story - hung as a ring of five in April 1902 and augmented to six in May 1902, the tenor weighing 9-3-26. The bells were hung in a two tier frame with the second on top. The first peal on the bells was rung in 1904:

The ring was remodelled in 1905 when the fourth was recast, and a treble and tenor added.  This was noted in an article in "Church Bells" magazine, published on January 13th 1905:


The dedication was briefly reported in "Bell News" on May 13th 1905:

(Dedication of New Bells.)
On Sunday, April 30th, the Rev. Canon Flory (Vicar of Holy Trinity, Leamington), performed the ceremony of dedicating to the use and glory of God, two new bells, a treble and tenor, to complete the octave, and also rededicating the old 4th bell which has been recast. The dedication took place after the second lesson during the morning service, when Canon Flory on receiving from the Vicar (Rev. Canon Blyth, D.D.) , the ropes of the three bells, he formally dedicated them to the glory of God. A short touch was afterwards rung by the local band; other touches were also rung during the day.
The work of casting and hanging the bells was entrusted to J. Taylor and Co., of Loughborough. The “ go ” of the bells reflects great credit upon the firm.


The first peal on the ring of 8 was rung in 1908:


In The Ringing World of July 10th 1936 a note is made that a quarter peal was rung for the wedding of two local ringers, because the go of the bells prevented a peal being rung.  There were no peals rung on the bells between 1934 and 1947, the year that all were rehung on ball bearings by Taylors. The Taylor bells were cast with flat tops, the other two have had their canons removed.

The tower is small and therefore the bells are on two levels. Bells 2, 5 and 8 are on top. The ringing room is cosy! Though there is a need for rope guides the bells go well and are suitable for the less experienced visitor. Entrance is normally via the tower door.

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

The church was on the front page of The Ringing world of September 9th 1975 for the church's 875th anniversary celebrations:

There is a church car park just to the west of the church up a small road almost opposite The Rose and Crown pub. This car park is, however, not suitable for coaches and it is locked not long after time of the end of the practice or when you are in the pub across the road after a peal - says he out of experience!

Details of the Bells

1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough   1905   4-0-11  25.50"   1455.5Hz (F#-29c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough   1902   4-0-05  26.31"   1370.0Hz (E#-34c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough   1902   4-2-03  28.00"   1227.5Hz (D#-24c)
4 Hugh Watts                       1624   5-0-08  30.00"   1092.0Hz (C#-26c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough   1905   6-1-15  32.625"   968.5Hz (B-34c)
6 John de Colsale                 c1410   7-1-15  34.50"    920.0Hz (A#-23c)
7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough   1902   9-3-26  38.50"    818.0Hz (G#-26c)
8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough   1905  13-1-09  42.50"    727.0Hz (F#-31c)

Photo Gallery

stoke2_small stoke3_small
The Church -
Looking East
The Church -
Looking West

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