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TYSOE The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 6; 12-0-18 in F

Grid Reference 151/341444 Tysoe Church - Source M Chester
Postcode CV36 4NQ
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday By Arrangement
Practice Wednesday 2000-2100


Set in the middle of the village of Middle Tysoe, this is a nice church upon which some considerable sum of money has recently been spent restoring the stonework.

The church is a large building consisting of a chancel, north vestry, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, and west tower. It dates from the end of the 11th century or beginning of the 12th, when the nave was shorter than now and probably narrower. A narrow south aisle was added some time after the middle of the 12th century, with an arcade of three bays. Next came the lengthening of the nave and the addition of the west tower at the end of the same century. The south aisle and arcade may have been lengthened then or soon afterwards, when the original respond was moved westward and a new pillar and arch inserted. The archway from the nave to the tower was a later 13th-century insertion, probably replacing an earlier doorway.

The north aisle was added c. 1330–40 and it is fairly certain that the nave was widened a few feet to the north at the same time, the aisle and arcade being built before the original north wall was removed. There was a good deal of work done at this time: the clearstory was added to the nave and new roofs provided throughout. The nave-roof was high-pitched as indicated by the marks on the tower, but it was fitted with pierced parapets having profusely carved string-courses, obviously the work of the same craftsmen as those employed at Brailes Church. When the roof was placed over the south aisle, the east and south walls were more or less rebuilt, judging from the plinths, but kept at the same narrow width as the original aisle, so that the 12th-century doorway remains in situ. The roofs were again remodelled late in the 15th century, the nave-roof being reduced to a low pitch and the eaves-level of the south aisle being raised so as to reduce the pitch of this also.  Other work done late in the 15th century was the complete rebuilding of the chancel and the heightening of the tower by another stage and some alteration to its buttresses. The south porch was added rather earlier in the 15th century.

There have been repairs and restorations at many periods. There were galleries in the church in 1790 which may have caused damage to the masonry; the later pillar of the south arcade has a capital of modern workmanship, perhaps necessitated by something of this sort. The tower, or part of it, has been underpinned and some of its buttresses more or less rebuilt, probably in the 18th century. The vestry and organ-chamber was added in 1872. Other restorations were carried out in 1854 (by Sir Gilbert Scott), and again in 1912 (at a cost of £2,000) when most of the internal plaster was removed and bonding stones were inserted in the tower walls, which were badly cracked, and other repairs done.

Richard Sanders installed a ring of six here in 1719, the fourth and fifth being subsequently recast. The lowside frame and fittings are by Taylors, 1912. Around this time the parish had attempted to raise money (in 1910) for a completely new ring of eight, tenor 29 cwt,  The Bell News of August 6th 1910, in a report about the Warwickshire Guild's AGM notes:

"The Rev. Holmes, Vicar of Tysoe, laid before the meeting his scheme for a heavy ring of eight at Tysoe, tenor 29 cwt. He said he had already started a fund for this new peal, and asked if the Guild could kindly assist him in this good work. It was proposed that each belfry in union with the Guild should collect what they could, however small, and forward to the Treasurer of the Guild for the Tysoe bells. Amongst some of the experienced ringers it was thought it would be better if the tenor was reduced in weight to 25 cwt."

In the August 31st 1912 edition of Bell News it was reported, "The scheme to augment the ring of six at Tysoe to eight, is for the moment in abeyance. The tower requires a large sum of money spent upon it, and what funds are at present in hand will barely cover this one item. The authorities have now to meet some heavy demands made upon them in connection with their school buildings, so the proposal even to rehang the bells without any augmentation is not likely to be carried out for a very long time"  This is a surprising article, given that when funds did prove to be insufficient they rehung the existing bells instead. The work being noted as being in hand at Taylors in the September 21st edition of Bell News, three weeks after saying it was in obeyance! The canons have been removed from all the bells and all, bar the Rudhall bell, are listed.

The notes are all, except the treble, just above half way between two semitones. The treble is a fraction flatter than the rest of the ring.

The first peal on the bells was rung in 1925:

The bells until the mid 1990s were rung from the ground floor, but now are rung from the first floor, up an internal wooden staircase. The 5th is the last known bell of the Bagley dynasty. The 5 bells that were still on plain bearings were rehung on ball bearings in 2003. 

There is a 15" diameter sanctus bell in the gable over the chancel arch. It was probably recast by Blews in 1886 from a bell dated 1715 and sounds the note B.

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

Details of the Bells

1 Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove          1719   4-2-27  29.50"   1132.0Hz (D-64c)
2 Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove          1719   5-2-18  31.875"  1020.0Hz (C-44c)
3 Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove          1719   6-3-01  34.00"    907.0Hz (Bb-48c)
4 Abel Rudhall, Gloucester             1750   8-0-14  36.00"    857.0Hz (A-46c)
5 Matthew Bagley III, Chipping Norton  1782   9-1-27  38.50"    764.0Hz (G-45c)
6 Richard Sanders, Bromsgrove          1719  12-0-18  43.25"    679.0Hz (F-49c)

Photo Gallery

tysoe_east_small tysoe_east_small tysoe_west_small
The Church -
Looking East
 The Chancel The Church -
Looking West 
tysoe_ladder_small tysoe_ringing_chamber_small tysoe3_small
The Staircase to
the Ringing Chamber 
The Bright and Welcoming Ringing Chamber In a modern recess in the chancel
is a tomb with a stone recumbent effigy
of William Clarke, a patron of the church,
died 17 September 1618.
Plan of the Church

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