Sunday 29th November 2009
All Saints 6 10-3-16 in G
St Kenelm 6 10-2-14 in G
St John the Evangelist 6 7-0-1 in Bb
Kate Crosby, Roy Jones, Hugh Deam, Paul Lucas, Judith Kirby, Bernard Masterman, Charles Smith, Stephen Nichols, Andrew Dunn, Graham Nichols, Anthony Hughes, Donna Murphy, Jan Lawrie, John Pusey and Peter Lloyd.
Spelsbury The village is set on a narrow hill between the Coldron and Taston brooks overlooking the River Evenlode. It takes its name from the Anglo Saxon for a spying place, having been documented in the Cartularium Saxonicum in 1010 as Speoles Byrig. There is a drinking fountain here in the shape of a shell that was constructed to commemorate the 13th Viscount Dillon who died in the village in 1853. The original parts of the church are Norman, when the tower was central. The 1st Earl of Lichfield paid for the restoration of the bell tower in 1706, and successive Earls have contributed to rebuilding, restoration, and remodelling. Although the tower is extremely broad and the ringing chamber immense, the ring of six bells is congregated in one corner of the tower. Church Enstone Enstone comprises five other hamlets in addition to Church and Neat Enstone (Chalford, Cleveley, Gagingwell, Lidstone, and Radford). It derives its name from a standing stone known as the Ent (Anglo-Saxon: Giant) Stone, which is now known as the Hoar Stone, originally part of a Neolithic tomb. The airfield here was used by the RAF Bomber Command Training Unit during World War II before reverting back to civil duties in 1947. The parish church is primarily Norman, with an extremely broad tower that was added during the 16th century. St Kenelm or Cynhelm is known as the Cotswolds Saint, with seven such dedications in the area. By legend he was the son of Cenewulf and news of his murder in A.D. 812 by his sister was flown to the Pope in Rome by a dove. Although the tower is inordinately broad for a six bell tower the ringing chamber is considerably smaller. The bells are a super ring of six that are well worth experiencing. The Harrow Inn, Neat Enstone. Welcoming lunchtime venue that offers reasonably priced meals on a Sunday as well as the rest of the week.
Saturday 24th October 2009
St Peter & St Paul 8 14-3-2 in F
St Andrew 8 13-1-5 in F#
All Saints 6 12-2-27 in F#
Christian Burrell, Hugh Deam, Heather Dobson, Hal Drysdale, Andrew Dunn, Simon Edwards, Roy Jones, Judith Kirby, Maarit Kivilo, Paul Lucas and Ryan Noble.
The ringers at Weedon Bec
Weedon Bec This large and urbanised village is sited at the source of the River Nene on what was the course of Watling St (now the A5) London to Holyhead road. The name derives from an early temple here and the previous ownership of the village by the Abbey of Bec-Hellouin in Normandy. At the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars a military ordnance depot was set up here and due to Weedon's distance from the coast, plus road, canal, and later rail links it was designated as a safe haven for King George III and senior government figures in the event of invasion. The portcullis that guards the entrance to the secret area leading off from the river still exists. The parish church is located between the railway viaduct and the heavily raised earth wall running alongside the Grand Union Canal. The church is primarily a rebuilding of 1825, although the Norman tower remains. The front three bells are on roller bearings and the back five on plain bearings and are excellent for fluent ringing. The number two bell dates back to 1551.
Whilton Taking its name from a farmstead containing a water-wheel sited around a hill, the village is situated alongside a heavily locked (six) stretch of the Grand Union Canal, with a marina also having been developed here more recently. The original settlement was owned and administered by Robert, Count of Mortain, half-brother to William the Conqueror. The construction of the C12-13th church is typical of the county, being of ironstone, although there was considerable reconstruction during the 18th century. The tower is also C13th, with the upper part added in 1769. The bells are a sprightly eight rung from the ground floor. The Royal Oak in Flore is a classic rural pub with a menu replete with hearty meals ideal for hungry and thirsty ringers.
Weedon Bec · St Peter & St Paul
Whilton · St Andrew
Flore The unusual name of the village refers to its position as being part of the floor of a now lost tessellated pavement known to have been here in Saxon times. By the 12th century the land was owned by Merton Priory in Lincoln. The parish church is constructed of mellow brown sandstone from the quarries at Duston and Hornton. The interior of the church is exceptionally fine, with exquisite arcades of three wide bays and a sumptuously painted ceiling. The west tower dates to around 1300 with the back five bells having been here since the 1670s when they were cast by Bagley's of Chacombe, although the tenor was recast and the treble added in 1743 by Russell of Wootton, Beds. They are now a splendid six indeed.
Flore · All Saints
Monday 19th October 2009
All Saints 6 28cwt in D
Taking its name from the Anglo-Saxon description of Weowun's people the village is set on a limestone hill overlooking Aylesbury Vale. Only an 18ft mound just off the High St remains to denote the Norman castle that once dominated the settlement. Wing was the first village in the county to construct a stone church in 670 as a result of St Birinus' missionary fervour reaching out from Dorchester. Two great landowners have shaped the village during the past 500 years, first Sir William Dormer who in 1556 imparked 60 acres of woodland and 500 acres of open land, and later Baron Leopold Rothschild. Throughout the 18th and 19th century the main employment here was straw plaiting. On the outbreak of World War II an airfield was constructed at Wing and served as the base for the RAF Bomber Training Unit. Pilots were trained here for specific missions such as the 1000 Plane Raids over Germany and dropping of leaflets and newspaper front pages in French over French towns and villages. As a result of the airfield the third London Airport was nearly constructed here. The church, constructed of limestone rubble with stone dressings, is regarded as possibly the finest remaining example in the country, having been built for Queen Elviga, widow of Saxon king Edwy in 959. The south aisle and west tower were rebuilt during the 14th and 15th centuries. The bells are an inordinately heavy, but exceptionally worthwhile six, plus are hung counter-clockwise, plans are afoot to have them augmented to an eight.
Autumn outing to Bedfordshire
Saturday 17th October 2009
St Mary 6 6-3-5 in B
St Leonard 6 9-0-22 in G
St Mary the Virgin 6 18-2-16 in Eb
St Mary 8 19-1-1 in E
All Saints 6 8-0-22 in G#
Paul Bayes, Janice Beal, Jonathan Beal, Christian Burrel, Kate Crosby, Hugh Deam, Heather Dobson, Hal Drysdale, Adrian Gray, Roy Jones, Paul Kimber, Susan King, Judith Kirby, Paul Lucas, Bernard Masterman, Donna Murphy, Ryan Noble, Susie Pavelin, Ailsa Reid, June Steele and Serge Zvegintzov.
Haynes Taking its name from the description of a group of enclosures (Hagenes) the village consists of various hamlets that are spread out east to west over some five miles. The church is situated west of the main part of Haynes and is overlooked by the mansion and grounds of Haynes Park. The building of the present church was commissioned and funded by Rev. Lord John Thynne, progenitor of the present Marquess of Bath, owner of Longleat. Only the south arcade remains of the original c1300 building, along with the late C14th west tower. The altar cloth here was used for Queen Victoria to kneel on at her Coronation. The bells are rung from the ground floor and had been refurbished just prior to our visit.
Old Warden The name of the village refers to its initial utilisation as a hilltop look-out post, having been settled since the Iron Age. An important Cistercian abbey (Warden Abbey) was founded here in 1135 by Walter Espec. Today the village is best known for the Shuttleworth Agricultural College and Shuttleworth Collection aerodrome. The late C12th church with early C13th tower is constructed of brown cobbles and internally is quite probably the most richly endowed church in the county with many fine wood carvings, medieval stained glass, a full size effigy of the 1st Baron Ongley, a mighty gallery, and C16th Belgian panelling on the box pews that was transferred here from Bruges on Anne of Cleves marriage to Henry VIII. The bells are rung from the ground floor and require good knowledge of where the point of balance really is.
Haynes · St Mary
Old Warden · St Leonard
Northill Noted as Nortgiuele in 1086, the name refers to this being the northern settlement of the Gifle tribe, who had taken their name from the Celtic term for a forked stream, this being what is now known as the River Ivel. Only rectangular earthworks remain of the Norman castle that once guarded the village. The church is constructed of Ironstone and Totternhoe clunch, and was granted Collegiate status by Henry IV. It contains some of the finest heraldic and ornamental stained glass to be found in the country (dating to 1664) due to this being commissioned by the Patrons of the Grocers' Company. The bells here are a fantastic heavy six that fully reward the effort.
Northill · St Mary V
The Northill clock
Cardington Originally "Carda's Estate", the village is known internationally due to its aeronautical connotations that began in 1917 when Short Brothers used the area as a base for what would result in the R100 and R101 airships. The two hangars still stand today and dominate the flat landscape, the larger hangar is 157ft in length, having been built to accommodate the R101, the demise of which soon led to the termination of Britain's experimentation with airships. The large church here is originally C12th, but was largely reconstructed and richly adorned by the Whitbread brewing family from C18th onwards. The bells are a superb eight, although the sixth bell requires good control to avoid clipping. Cople First known as Cochepol (a pool frequented by wild cock birds), the construction of the buff and brown stone church here dates to 1087 and the de Beauchamp family. The earliest of the six bells here dates to C14th, with the most recent being early C20th, and they are arranged in an anti-clockwise direction. The village was riven by acrimony during the English Civil War due to the vicar being a Royalist and the Lord of the Manor being a Parliamentary general in charge of the garrison at Newport Pagnell. The vicar was imprisoned and then deported to America where he set up a town of the same name.
Cardington · St Mary
Cople · All Saints
Saturday 3rd October 2009
St Peter 8 10-0-5 in F#
All Saints 6 11cwt in F#
Alison Merryweather-Clark, Roy Jones, Bernard Masterman, Andrew Dunn, Judith Kirby, Hugh Deam, Paul Lucas and Maarit Kivilo.
Kineton · St Peter
Kineton Taking its name from its possession by King Henry I, the manor was handed to Kenilworth Priory and the rectory valued at £14 in 1291. Kineton's boundary is determined by the Fosse Way and Edge Hill where the first major battle of the English Civil War was fought on 23rd Oct 1642. A mound on the hillside commemorates the 500 soldiers who died in the battle. Nowadays the village is merely known as Kineton, with no mention of Combrook which was a chapelry. The market square in Kineton evidences that this was once a market town, having been granted that status in C13th. The substantial C14th parish church is on the northern edge of Kineton and is constructed of distinctive dark brown Hornton stone. The excellent bells here were augmented to an eight very recently, with the original six bells all dating to the early 1700s. A warm welcome was afforded us with tea, coffee and biscuits.
Chadshunt First described as Ceadeles Funtan (Ceadal's Spring), the village is extremely small, consisting of merely a scattering of houses amidst agricultural and pastureland, with inhabitancy having averaged little more than fifty during C20th. The manor was given to the monks of St Mary's in Coventry by Leofric, Earl of Mercia in 1043, with the church coming under the See of Lichfield. The C12th church is constructed of Hornton ashlar stone and is situated in a small clearing within a still quite heavily wooded area on an estate that was once used for stone quarrying. There is no electricity in the church here, with lighting provided by candles attached to the pews along the length of the nave. The bells are rung from the ground floor and are not an easy proposition. They were cast by Richard Keene of Woodstock in 1693 (treble and tenor) and 1669 (two to four).
Chadshunt · All Saints
Bladon and Stonesfield · Oxfordshire
Saturday 26th September 2009
St Martin 6 6-1-18 in B
St James the Great 6 7-3-22 in Bb
Simon Edwards, Roy Jones, Christian Burrel, Bernard Masterman, Paul Lucas and Maarit Kivilo.
Bladon See Saturday 18th July 2009. Stonesfield The village has grown up along the banks of the River Evenlode with many cottages of cotswold stone evident. A wealthy C4th Roman villa existed here on the north side of Akeman Street, evidence of which has been unearthed in richly patterned mosaic pavements of a Corinian school. The C13th parish church was restored and enlarged in 1876 with a new aisle added.
The work received a scathing assessment from Pevsner in his definitive books of English churches. The churchyard is long and narrow as are the gardens of the houses surrounding the church, and only due to the exceptional hospitality of a neighbour can one take a full length frontal photograph of the church. The bells were restored, retuned and rehung in 1997 and are a superb six, although space restrictions determine that the tenor rope requires a dead straight pull on both strokes.
Bladon · St Martin
Stonesfield · St James Gt
Monday 21st September 2009
Bucks · St Michael & All Angels 8 10-0-16 in F
St Michael & All Angels
Stewkley is considered to be England's longest village extending to almost two miles, with its lone main street containing several attractive period houses, including the Manor Farmhouse which possesses an early C18th dovecote containing 800 nesting holes. The village takes its name from a woodland clearing with tree stumps. The church dates to 1150 - 1180 and is considered by many experts to be the finest Norman building in the county, with a beautifully carved tympanum over the west door and zigzag course that runs right around the church. The nearest example to this church is the sumptuously decorated St Mary the Virgin, Iffley. Nave, chancel and central tower are all in a single line, with thick stonewalls and small round-arched windows. The bells are a relatively recently augmented 8 that are ideal for fluent ringing; the fifth bell dates back to the 15th century.
Saturday 19th September 2009
St Michael & All Angels 8 22-0-10 in D
St Peter 8 20-2-13 in E
Hook Norton · St Peter
Hugh Deam, Judy Kirby, Alan Coates, Christian Burrel, Roy Jones, Andy Dunn, Simon Edwards and Maarit Kivilo.
Hook Norton The village came about as a result of being settled by an early C10th tribe known as the Hoccanere. It is affectionately known as "Hooky" by many. The church retains its impressive Norman chancel and has several large C15th wall-paintings. The bells here are a magnificent eight that are a must to enjoy. The village is also known throughout the country for its Brewery which is one of the last remaining Victorian tower breweries. Great Tew From the Saxon description Ciric Tiwa meaning a church on a ridge, with the centre of the village sitting at the centre of the valley. This is the largest of the Tew villages, the others being Little Tew and Duns Tew. Great Tew has one of the largest concentrations of thatched buildings in England. The village is heavily wooded due to a comprehensive tree planting and landscaping scheme in the early 19th century when this was entirely part of an estate. The church is approached via an avenue of laurel trees and the weighty and fine sounding bells are rung from the ground floor. The famous pub in the village, The Falkland Arms, commemorates Lucuis Cary, the 2nd Viscount of who did much to improve the lot of his farmworkers and opened up his manor house for famed writers of the day such as Ben Jonson and Oxford dons to work amidst "a purer air".
Great Tew · St Michael
Ringers at Hook Norton
A quarter peal at Rousham in Oxfordshire
Saturday 5th September 2009
St Leonard & St James 6 8-1-13
Roy Jones, Judy Kirby, Charles Smith, Maarit Kivilo, Hugh Deam and Paul Lucas.
Rousham · St Leonard & St James
The epitome of an estate village, Rousham consists of a mere handful of stone-built farmhouses that extend around the edge of the park which is fronted by a Jacobean manor house of 1635, built for Sir Robert Dormer. Despite the mansion being impressive, it is the Italianate gardens set around a curve of the River Cherwell that truly captures the imagination, having been designed by William Kent (1685 – 1748), who was also responsible for great estates such as Badminton, Chiswick and Chatsworth. The park includes several walled gardens; as well as ponds, cascades, and a sham ruin known as “The Eye-catcher”. Kent also made alterations to the interior of the house. The honey-coloured 11th century church, set adjacent to the courtyard of the manor house, was enlarged three centuries later and is surrounded by an immaculately maintained churchyard that is replete with classic examples of topiary and graced by many swifts and martins during the summer months. The porch has long been a nesting spot for these birds and there is an extra mesh door inside the porch to lessen the chance of the birds becoming trapped in the church. The bells are rung from the ground floor and are much improved for ringing since the re-hang around the Millennium. Five of the six bells were cast in 1675 by Richard Keene at the foundry in Woodstock. The fourth bell is from 1825, cast by Thomas II Mears of Whitechapel.
Ringing followed by a Picnic
Saturday 25th July 2009
Oxon · St Helen 6 7cwt in Bb
Robert Bruce, Roy Jones, Paul Lucas, Susie Pavelin, Hugh Deam, Judith Kirby, Bernard Masterman, Andrew Dunn, Maarit Kivilo and Donna Murphy.
Berrick Salome The village nestles in the plain between the Chilterns and the River Thames, and derives its name from a barley farm that once existed here, originally being documented as Berewiche. The original manorial affix of Saltone came about in 1571 and denotes the Suleham family. The highly photogenic church is set away from the village itself at the end of a narrow eastward leading lane, the entrance to which is easy to locate as it adjoins the well known pub here, the Chequers Inn.
There has been a church on this site since Saxon times, and the Norman font is still in place, although there was a comprehensive Victorian restoration that employed several of the fashionable traits of that time such as large projecting gables, black timbering, and polychromatic tiles. The wooden gallery at the west end of the nave dates to 1676, with the C14th chancel remaining generally untouched by the restoration. The wooden tower houses six bells, with most of them dating back to the 17th century, the treble being added during the Victorian refurbishment. This ground floor ring are not in all truth the best sounding set you will ever encounter, but are relatively easy to handle and are set well away from any housing.
North of Oxford
Saturday 18th July 2009
St Martin 6 6-1-18 in B
Sandford St Martin
St Martin 6 9cwt in A
Hugh Deam, Roy Jones, Susan King, Judith Kirby, Bernard Masterman and Donna Murphy.
Bladon Bladon takes its name from what was the previous description of what is now known as the River Evenlode, namely the River Blade. Situated on the western fringes of the majestic Blenheim Estate, the village is replete with limestone and tile houses, and dry-stone walls. Originally the church here served as the parish church for the adjacent town of Woodstock, with the medieval building being demolished and reconstructed in 1804 at the expense of the 4th Duke of Marlborough. In turn it was almost entirely rebuilt again on the orders of the Rector in 1891 to the designs of noted architect Sir Arthur Bromfield, and was re-opened on St Martin's
Day by the Bishop of Oxford. It now consists of a chancel, nave with narrow aisles, and a west tower. Above all though, it is the graves of the Churchill family in the churchyard, with their headstones all facing directly toward the Estate that primarily makes Bladon a tourist destination. The bells here are a smooth flowing six ideal for minor methods. Sandford St Martin The settlement here was built on the site of a sandy ford, hence the name, with the subsequent affix from the dedication of the C13th church. The interior of the church is without doubt one of the finest in the county, enhanced by a number of large and powerfully depicted paintings, and also
Bladon · St Martin
The Churchill family graves
possessing an exceptional organ. The chancel was rebuilt in 1856 by G.E. Street, with the late Decorated period window in the chancel re-used from the original. The churchyard here replicates the church itself in being one of the best maintained in Oxfordshire, with a fine lych-gate that was added in 1863 also the work of G.E. Street. The substantial tower houses a ring of six bells with an excellent tone, although the floor of the ringing chamber has a pronounced slope and the ropes require tight handling.
Sandford St Martin
A Quarter Peal Outing in Oxfordshire
Saturday 20th June 2009
St Mary 6 6-2-6 in Bb [PB Minor]
St Giles 6 6-1-17 in Bb [1p 6m]
Christian Burrell, Michael Haynes, Judith Kirby, Hugh Deam, Roy Jones and Maarit Kivilo.
Swerford Originally described as Surford (a ford by a neck of land or col) the settlement expanded into an archetypal tranquil North Oxfordshire village. It lies in the deeply wooded valley of the River Swere, consisting of particularly individualistic place names, such as Potato Town, Pomfret Castle, Horse Hill and Butter Hill. At the upstream end is the C19th restored mansion of Swerford Park overlooking a lake fed by the river. The village is made up of two distinct parts, the Black Death having taken a particular toll here and new housing being constructed at a distance from the original hub. The parish church overlooks the village green and is built on sloping ground that was once dominated at its zenith by a Norman castle, of which only earthworks now remain. The early C14th tower remains from the original church, the main body of which was extensively rebuilt in 1846 by H. J. Underwood. The bells, the oldest one of which dates back to 1694, are rung from the ground floor and require sensitive handling, particularly on the front two.
The Peak District · Derbyshire
Saturday 13th June 2009
Holy Trinity 6 4-3-17 in D
St James the Apostle 6 7-2-8 in Bb
St Giles 8 9-0-5 in A
St Leonard 3 8-3-1 in A
St Mary 3 7cwt in C
All Saints 6 7-2-24 in G#
Paul Bayes, Hugh Deam, Judith Kirby, Bernard Masterman, Kate Crosby, Roy Jones, Peter Lloyd and Donna Murphy.
Brackenfield · Holy Trinity
Brackenfield The village takes its name from a Scandinavian influence, being first noted as Brackentheyt. Located in the Amber Valley, the parish church is unusual in being sited at the lowest point of the village. The construction of the nearby Ogston Reservoir by the National Coal Board required the damming of the River Amber and the consequent flooding of the adjoining village, with many of those villagers re-housed here. This augmented ring of bells is considerably more satisfying than might be expected given their light weight. Bonsall Taking its name from a nook of land belonging to an Anglo Saxon man named Bunt, this hilly village came to prominence during the 18th century due to its framework knitting workshops. Despite its modest size there is a market square with a large village cross sitting atop a circular base with 13 steps ascending from the base. The standard of well-dressing here is known to be particularly high, with locally grown flowers being used.
The church is picturesquely sited on a ledge of a steep hill overlooking the village and Bonsall Brook. The bells have been refurbished of late and trip round equably. Hartington Even from the centre of Hartington classic limestone walled Dove Valley countryside can be seen surrounding all sides of the village such is its compact nature. Although popular with ramblers and other visitors the village retains its rural character. The church is sited on the highest ground in the village and is dominated by its Perpendicular west tower constructed of red ashlar sandstone. The ground floor ringing chamber of the tower is enclosed from the nave by substantial wrought-iron gates. The bells are a sublime eight, with three of them dating back to the 17th century. Monyash First documented as Maneis, the village derives its name from the abundance of ash trees here during Anglo-Saxon times. Monyash is situated in a shallow hollow of Lathkill Dale, in what is known as the White Peak area of the Peak District. A settlement grew up here due to it standing on a bed of impervious clay that held enough water to develop four meres (ponds). Lead mining became the major industry from the mid 18th century, but drainage problems eventually made it one of the first to become uneconomic. The church here was founded as a chapel of Bakewell in 1198 and retains its Norman piscina. On becoming a parish church it slowly fell into some disrepair and required major restoration in the 1880s, work carried out by William Butterfield. The three bells possess a superb tone and there is a distinct possibility of them being augmented.
Bonsall · St James
Tissington First noted as Tizinctun in 1086, this gated estate village long owned by the Fitzherbert family, though sparsely inhabited, is undoubtedly one of the most famous and most popular with tourists in the Peak District, covering some 2,400 acres. The triangular green bordered sporadically by Georgian houses defines the village with the church, Old Coach House tearooms, and Jacobean manor house all grouped quite close together. The ropes for the bells fall in a straight line and are rung from the ground floor in a small space between the organ and the west wall of the tower.
Hartington · St Giles
Monyash · St Leonard
Mugginton The village located in a conservation area, gained its name from Mugga, a local Saxon Lord, and is known to have possession of its own priest, a church and a mill at the time of the Domesday Survey. The west wall of the church survives from the original building. The hollow yew tree directly across the church path from the porch is over 1400 years old. In 1987 a steel frame was installed and the bells were augmented from four to six, the two oldest bells date back to 1512. These are an extremely fluent and well balanced set ideal for minor method ringing.
Tissington · St Mary
Mugginton · All Saints
Saturday 30th May 2009
St Andrew 6 8cwt in A
A Quarter peal of Stedman, St Simon's, All Saints, Reverse Canterbury, Plain Bob and Grandsire. Dedicated to the Mariage of Christian and Alice.
Letcombe Regis · St Andrew
Judith Kirby, Susan King, Steve Davies, Bernard Masterman, Hugh Deam © and Roy Jones.
Letcombe Regis The village of Ledecumbe was originally a Royal manor of the Wessex Kings, before passing into the aegis of William the Conqueror. In 1136 King Stephen granted the village and its hunting lodge to the Abbey of Cluny in France. The Greyhound Inn is documented as being the first place in Britain where the Riot Act was read. Until the 1970s the village was in Berkshire and its Lambourn Downs heritage is still very evident architecturally and culturally, with several successful racehorse trainers having stables here. The C12th parish church, with substantial C13th tower is situated atop a large mound at the southern tip of the village overlooking Letcombe Brook. An obelisk in the churchyard is dedicated to George King Hipango, a Maori chief who crossed the world to train as a Christian minister, but who sadly died of tuberculosis during his time here. The bells are a free-flowing six with the ringing chamber being reached via a steep ladder that is currently subject to health and safety restrictions.
Saturday 23rd May 2009
St Michael & All Angels
Roy Jones, Donna Murphy, Judith Kirby, Paul Bagni, Ryan Noble and Hugh Deam.
Waddesdon Taking its name from a hill belonging to a man called Weott, the settlement is noted in the Domesday Book as Votesdone, Undoubtedly the village is best known for its sumptuous manor house constructed over a 15 year period in the style of a French Renaissance chateau for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild. In addition to using Percheron horses imported from Normandy, a steam railway was also specially built to transport the larger building materials to the site. The interior of the house is full of French decorative art and furniture, plus there are works by several of Britain's greatest painters such as Gainsborough and Reynolds. The extensive gardens play host to an aviary and a herd of Japanese Sika deer. The parish church has been extensively enlarged across the centuries from 1190 onwards, with the consequence of several different architectural styles being evident. Because of its size it was used to accommodate clergy and laity during visits by the Bishop of Lincoln. The pulpit here is unusual as it is Italian, having been given to the church by the 9th Duke of Marlborough. At the rear of the nave is a 1/3 inch to 1 foot scale matchstick replica of the church dating to 1979 by E. Randall Styles that took three years to make. The six bells here are unusual in that they are one of the few sets made of steel in the country, dating to 1862 by Naylor & Vickers of Sheffield.
Wotton Underwood Taking its name from the Anglo-Saxon for a farm near a wood, the settlement here at the time of the Domesday Book was noted as Oltone. Probably the grandest feature of this small and remote village is Wotton House which was built between 1704 - 1714 by master mason John Keene on a model that was created by William Winde, and is reputed to be almost identical to Buckingham House - the forerunner to what is now Buckingham Palace. The south pavilion of the house served as the home to famed Shakespearean actor Sir John Gielgud up until his death in the late 1990s. The church, which stands in the grounds of the estate, is almost wholly an incongruous C19th rebuild by G.E. Street, but containing much of interest inside, including a Norman frieze and a carved stone screen added at the behest of the 2nd Duke of Buckingham. The bells are rung from the ground floor and trip round nicely.
Waddesdon · St Michael
Wotton Underwood · All Saints
Ringing and Brunch in Oxfordshire
Saturday 16th May 2009
St Margaret 6 6-2-19 in Bb
St Denys 6 11cwt in Ab
Northmoor · St Denys
Carole Beckley, Ron Burgess, Roy Jones, Bernard Masterman, Bob Benstead, Kate Crosby, Judith Kirby, Donna Murphy, Jane Burgess, Hugh Deam, Paul Lucas and Susie Pavelin.
Hinton Waldrist The manor of Hinton was long held by the St Valery family whose ancient castle stood near the site of the present manor house guarding the river crossing at Duxford. The village gained its manorial affix from the influential de Sancto Walerico family here during C17th. A church was established here by the Saxons, but the present building is essentially a late C13th replacement constructed adjacent to what was once a moated area of the village. The future Henry V worshipped here with his mother, Lady Margaret de Bohun. The bells are an exceptionally fluent six rung from the ground floor. Northmoor Documented solely as More (a marsh) in 1059, the village is located near to the ferry at Bablockhythe.
Despite being somewhat off the beaten track as far as the main roads are concerned, there are a series of footpaths crossing the meadows here, that make Northmoor popular with walkers. The impressive interior of the cruciform church, virtually unaltered from their conception, includes a C15th tower constructed within the C14th nave rather similar to the example at Woodeaton. The bells are rung from a gallery that affords a splendid view along the length of the nave and are a fine set well worth paying a visit to ring.
Hinton Waldrist · St Margaret
Northmoor · St Denys
Isle of Purbeck
Saturday 18th April 2009
St Edward Martyr 6 11-2-11 in F
St Nicholas 6 6-0-6 in C
St James 10 26-3-16 in D
Lady St Mary 10 15-2-14 in E
All Saints 3 3½cwt in F
Christian Burrell, Sally Harrison, Paul Lucas, Hugh Deam, Roy Jones, Tom Luxford, Hal Drysdale, Judith Kirby and Ryan Noble.
Quarter peals of Plain Bob and Reverse Canterbury Minor were rung at Corfe Castle and Worth Matravers. Details of these two churches can be found in our outing on 21st June 2008. Kingston Taking its name from the King's Manor, the village is dominated by the huge Victorian church on the northern edge of the limestone plateau. The 1st Earl of Eldon ordered the original chapel replaced by a gothic church designed by his son-in-law, the famed architect George Repton. The 3rd Earl ordered a cathedral-plan church built in 1870, with the French influenced design being overseen by GE Street. The previous church still stands at the centre of Kingston. The ten bells are rightly regarded as being a must to ring. The ringing chamber is reached via a highly unusual set of staggered stone steps.
That the village is set on very high ground is most apparent from the beer garden of the pub, The Scott Arms, which has a telescope strategically placed in order to zoom in on the fabulous panorama that includes the ruins of Corfe Castle, Poole Harbour and if lucky, which we were on this day, a steam train making its way from Wareham to Swanage. Wareham First noted in the 9th century as Werham (homestead by a weir) the town was founded by the Saxons, with St Martin's church built at that time still standing intact here, being not only the oldest church in the county, but also containing a recumbent effigy of TE Lawrence resplendent in Arab clothing. Several notable Saxon kings were buried in Wareham, notably King Beorhtric and Edward the Martyr. The town is built on a strategic dry point between the River Frome and River Piddle with marshy land on all sides. In 1762 a fire destroyed much of the town and a massive course of rebuilding was carried out following the previous Roman grid pattern. The C12th church of Lady St Mary overlooks the river in the south of the town, with the interior containing a unique hexagonal lead font. The Perpendicular west tower offers a fantastic view across the town square from the ringing chamber. The bells are a fluent ten ideal for beginners and experienced alike.
Wareham · Lady St Mary
Langton Long This exquisite hamlet just south of Blandford Forum is sometimes included as being part of the town, hence Blandford's name being tacked on in some circles. The classic English country church here is adjacent to the manor house of Langton Hall, with the three bells rung from upstairs. Plans are afoot to have them augmented to a six in the near future.
Kingston · St James
Langton Long · All Saints
Saturday 21st March 2009
SMV (6) 14cwt
St Mary (6) 13cwt
St Margaret (6) 12cwt
13:30 Lunch The White Hart
St Giles (6) 10cwt
St Lawrence (8) 15cwt
Hartpury · SMV
Richard Bennett, Hal Drysdale, Roy Jones, Paul Lucas, Rupert Boulting, Andrew Dunn, Paul Kimber, Bernard Masterman, Christian Burrell, Adrian Gray, Susan King, Donna Murphy, Hugh Deam, Anne Gyngell, Judith Kirby, Ryan Noble and Ailsa Reid.
Hartpury Originally known as Merewent, the village name of today is descriptive of a place hosting pear trees bearing a hard variety of the fruit, the Hartpury Green. The village and its church were in the ownership of St Peter's Abbey, Gloucester until the Dissolution. The parish church is unusually situated 1½ miles south of the village amidst an attractive grouping that also includes a water-mill and a huge C14th tithe barn that now houses an agricultural college. Most notably there is a unique mid C19th bee shelter to the rear of the church that was rescued from destruction and moved here from its original location. The church is listed Grade I, with the bells being a sturdy six that evoke an excellent tone.
Hasfield is situated on high ground in the shadow of Barrow Hill to the south and with Corse Grove to the north, close to the boundary with Worcestershire. The village derives its name from the preponderance of hazels that used to grow here. The church is adjacent to the manor house of Hasfield Court, with a rambling churchyard that by local tradition is considered to be haunted.
The bee shelter at Hartpury
Hasfield · St Mary
The interior of the church is notable for the profusion of organs, three in all. The bells are rung from the ground floor and require sound handling. Corse The village grew out of the medieval hunting estate of Corse Chase, owing much of its character today to Feargus O'Connor who constructed numerous single storey cottages as part of making this a Chartist estate. The church and elegant Corse Court Farm are approached via an extensive apple orchard, with the house retaining part of its moat. The foundation of the church here was due to former occupants of the house, with the majority of its fabric dating to C14th. The first detail of a dedication to St Margaret was not until 1710. One bell dates back to late C16th, with three others to C17th. The bells are rung from the ground floor and are similar to Hasfield in challenging bell-handling. Maisemore The village is situated on the west bank of the Severn between the public footpaths, of the Severn Way and the Gloucestershire Way. The parish church long enjoyed a splendid view over a small lake fed from the large weir that runs off from the river, but the conversion of adjoining Maisemore Court into a business park has blocked off that view. Also here is a commercial apiary that produces high quality honey. The church is constructed of coursed lias and is primarily a C19th reconstruction of the first rebuild during C15th of the C12th original. The bells are a free flowing six rung from the ground floor. The pub here, the White Hart served us with an excellent lunch at very reasonable prices.
Corse · St Margaret
Sandhurst This extensive village just to the north of Gloucester runs parallel to Maisemore on the other side of the Severn, but is not easily accessible due to the A40 requiring a considerable detour. The church was rebuilt in 1858 employing a mix of Early English and Decorated styles, with the west tower remaining from C14th. The lych-gate is one of the best examples in the country. The bells are a super ring of eight ideal for clarity in striking.
Maisemore · St Giles
Sandhurst · St Lawrence