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WELLESBOURNE St Peter 6; 10-0-21 in G (GF)

Grid Reference 151/277556 Wellesbourne Church - Source M Chester
Postcode CV35 9LT
Affiliation Coventry DG
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday 0945-1015 & 1745-1830
Practice Thursday 1945-2115
Other Information Church Website


One of many nice villages in South Warwickshire, a few miles down the A429 from its junction with the M40. The part of the village which contains the church is sometimes known as Wellesbourne Hastings - though you will not find a sign saying so! The church is well kept and has useful church rooms to the side.  The rooms are regularly used for CCCBR sponsored events.

The first written record of the village is by an Anglo-Saxon chronicler who recorded that a Witan was held in "Wallesburnam" by King Burgred of Marcia in 862 AD. Domesday Book called the village "Walesborne", which was given to Henri de Newburgh. The first stone church was built in the late 11th or early 12th Century, as is attributed to Henri de Newburgh. Henri also provided endowments of Glebe land for the maintenance of a Vicar, as did his son and grandson. These were appropriated by the Priory of Kenilworth, confirmed by Deed in 13 48. The Priory with its Canons presented the vicars until the reign of Elizabeth I. Other than the tower, much of the church was pulled down and rebuilt in 1847-48 to the designs of the Architect J P Harrison Esq., of London.

The first peal on the bells was rung in 1932, though not claimed as such by the band:

The back six bells, a listed set of bells, are a complete ring of 6 by Henry Bagley II of Chacombe. Bells 3 & 6 had been chip tuned. The inscriptions are given by Tilley and Walters in their book, "The Church Bells of Warwickshire"

The following appeared in The Ringing World of December 1st 1939

To the Editor. Sir,—I notice in ‘ The Ringing W orld ’ of a few weeks ago an article about Henry Bagley.
A few months ago I put in many hours cleaning and creosoting the timbers of our bell chamber at Willesbourne, in Warwickshire. These timbers were put in by Henry Bagley when the ring of six was put in in 1681. There have been no alterations to the timbers of the cage, but the third and fourth bells had new wheels and stocks fitted about 30 years ago. The timbers are still perfectly sound and the ring still pealable, although some of the bearings need replacing and tightening.
J. FARRINGTON . Elstree."

The ring was rehung and tuned and by Taylors in 1955. The frame and fittings, including canon-retaining headstocks, are by Taylors, also 1955 at which point in time they quarter turned the bells.

The first peal after rehanging was rung in 1959:

An amusing report of a meeting in January 1962, when ringers had to fight their way to the tower through the snow, was published in The Ringing World of February 2nd 1962:

Click to enlarge)

Two trebles were added in 1981 to celebrate their tercentenary of the ring of six. These were cast on October 29th 1981, using metal from the tenor of the old three at Winderton, a redundant Chapel of Ease in Brailes parish. The back six retain their canons, but one of the double canons on the third, now fifth, is broken. The Taylors bells were cast with flat tops. the project was reported in The Ringing World of July 29th 1982:

From this article, the incriptions of the two treble can be ascertained:

1. "We sing Glory to God" John Taylor made us 1981  Christopher Bennett, Vicar. 

2. 1981 We two are cast from the great bell of Winderton.

The first peal on the ring of 8 was rung in December of 1982:

Minor works were completed in January 2016. The rope guide was upgraded, top plates were fitted to the canon retaining headstocks, and longer bell bolts were supplied and fitted by Taylors.

The back six are the second oldest complete six after Martley in Worcestershire, cast in 1674. (The oldest in terms of the average age of its bells is St Swithin's in Worcester, but these ware not all cast at one time. Three being cast in around 1420 and the others in 1654.)

Details of the Bells

1 John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd, Loughborough  1981   3-3-07  24.875"  1592.0Hz (G+26c)
2 John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd, Loughborough  1981   4-1-20  26.00"   1506.0Hz (F#+30c)
3 Henry Bagley II, Chacombe                   1681   4-1-22  27.25"   1339.0Hz (E+27c)
4 Henry Bagley II, Chacombe                   1681   4-2-02  28.375"  1193.0Hz (D+27c)
5 Henry Bagley II, Chacombe                   1681   5-1-19  30.50"   1062.0Hz (C+25c)
6 Henry Bagley II, Chacombe                   1681   6-0-12  32.25"   1003.0Hz (B+26c)
7 Henry Bagley II, Chacombe                   1681   7-1-26  34.875"   895.0Hz (A+29c)
8 Henry Bagley II, Chacombe                   1681  10-0-24  38.625"   795.0Hz (G+24c)

Photo Gallery

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The Church - Looking East  The Church - Looking West 
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The Ringing Room  The Fine Reredos 
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The Belfry Close-up of
The Fifth
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The Tenor, With Its
A close-up of the Tenor's
Inscription Band 

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