A record of outings 2012
by Hugh Deam
Saturday 20th October 2012
10:00 St Margaret of Antioch
(10) 26-0-26 in D · Westminster Abbey SW1P 3BB
11:00 St James
(8) 9-1-25 in G# · Garlickhythe · Garlick Hill EC4V 2AL
12:00 Ye Old Watling
29 Watling Street EC4M 9BR
14:00 St Magnus the Martyr
(12) 26-3-9 in D · London Bridge EC3R 6DN
15:00 St George the Martyr
(8) 14-2-24 in F · Borough High Street SE1 4PG
16:30 Cathedral Church of St Saviour
(12) 48-0-9 in Bb · Southwark SE1 9DA
Jonathan Cresshull, Andy Dunn, Leon Thompson, Katherine Stonham, Brian Spurling, Katie M A Lane, David Cornwall, Alison Merryweather-Clarke, Ron Burgess, Jane Burgess, Ann Lloyd, Richard Verrall, Andrew Freer, William Willans, Hugh Deam, Roy Jones, David Parks, Catrin Morgan, James Morgan, Mark Tarrant, Patricia O'Neill, Malcolm Fairbairn, Robin Hall, Dorothy Hall, Matthew Hall, Hazel Rothera, Phil Armstrong, Toby Armstrong, Paul Lucas, Simon Edwards, David Barrington and Chris Griggs.
St Margaret of Antioch
before Westminster Abbey
Matthew Hall rings
St Margaret's third
A notice without
the entrance to the church
Elizabeth Tower
housing Big Ben in the distance
St Margaret of Antioch, Parliament Square Situated within the grounds of Westminster Abbey, the church was founded in the 12th century by Benedictine monks for those in the area to worship separately from the Abbey. The church was rebuilt between 1486 and 1523, to become frequented by the members of the Palace of Westminster, due to it not being high church. The Flemish stained-glass (1509) of the east window commemorates the betrothal of Catherine of Aragon to Henry VIII. Other windows depict William Caxton, Sir Walter Raleigh and John Milton. This area is now a World Heritage Site. The walk up the steps to the ringing chamber is enhanced by the unusual sight of a baby grand piano in a small room halfway up the tower. There were already three bells installed here by the time of the reign of Edward I when they were augmented to a five. Piecemeal additions were made during the 18th and 19th centuries, with a wide-ranging recasting and augmentation to the current ten bells in 1939 which was carried out by Gillett & Johnston.
St James · Garlickhythe
Part of the ornate interior
The recent peal aboard
the Ursula Katherine
A representation of St James
This is not Gandalf, nor is it a hobbit
St James, Garlickhythe Situated in the Vintry ward, so named as a merchant company devoted to the wine trade was located here, with the famous Vintners Hall still standing. The name of the area points up that in mediaeval times French wine and garlic was landed at the "garlic dock" here. The church stands on what was once a pilgrims' route that concluded at the cathedral Santiago da Compostela in Spain. The interior of the church is a repository of exquisite decoration and utility. From 1683 until this year (2012) the tower has housed but a solitary bell, but in the wake of the Jubilee Celebrations the ring of eight bells that were cast to be pealed on a barge at the head of the Thames Pageant were installed in the tower here. Outside the church is a statue of former Bargemaster and Swan Marker alongside one of his swans about to be marked.
Ye Olde Watling
The view around the corner
Here we find beer
Ye Olde Watling off Cheapside The original pub here was one of the many buildings to fall victim to the Great Fire of London and its reconstruction is locally reputed to have been overseen by Christopher Wren. What is not disputed is that he used the upper rooms of the pub as drawing offices as he set about his doughty task of designing St Paul's Cathedral which is barely more than a literal stone's throw away.
St Magnus the Martyr
Ringing activity
St Magnus This is the Guild Church of the Worshipful Companies of Fishmongers and Plumbers. The original 11th century church was one of the first to be destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666 and thus is the beneficiary of being rebuilt to the designs of Sir Christopher Wren 1671 - 87. In 1920, St Magnus was one of nineteen city churches earmarked for demolition, but a general outcry and public campaign fronted by TS Eliot, amongst other notables, brought about a reprieve for this building. The original five bells were replaced after the fire, and these in turn have been replaced by a new set of twelve that were installed in 2008/09.
St George the Martyr
Some of the ringers
St George The earliest reference of a church here is in the Annals of Bermondsey Abbey around 1122. It was during this general period that the myths and legends surrounding St George led to him being adopted as an iconic Christian figure by the Crusaders. Three centuries later in 1415 Henry V returning victorious from Agincourt was welcomed by the Alderman of London on the steps of the church here. The west tower and its slender spire dominates the view along Borough High Street. The present church is the third such building on this site since the Norman original. The 14th century replacement was demolished in 1733 and rebuilt in red brick and Portland stone to the designs of John Price 1734 - 36. Charles Dickens was associated with this church during one of the darkest periods in his life, and he drew upon his experiences from this time, when using it as a backdrop for a part of his novel Little Dorrit. The nave was declared unsafe in 2000, but thanks in part to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund it was repaired and restored by 2007. The eight bells were retained from the previous church building and re-hung in a new frame in 1735.
Upon arrival at the cathedral
I weigh 48 hundredweight
Southwark Cathedral Situated on the south bank of the River Thames close to London Bridge, this Gothic church dates to between 1220 and 1420, but only became designated as a cathedral in 1905 when the Southwark Diocese was created. Originally it belonged to Winchester Diocese and then briefly to Rochester (1877) until the formation of this new Diocese. The nave of the cathedral was reconstructed during the Victorian era, but in the 13th century style. There are two cathedral choirs here, the main cathedral choir primarily drawing from the parochial schools, and the Merbecke Choir which takes its name from the Tudor composer. Avid television watchers will recall the choral theme to Mr Bean, which was performed by the choristers here. The original set of bells here in the 15th century was a peal of seven. A new set known as "The Samuel Knight Twelve" was cast in 1735, of which four have been recast since.
Saturday 22nd September 2012
St Andrew (6) 10-1-16 in G
St Michael (6) 11-0-24 in F#
Alan Coates, Neil Ephgrave, Bernard Masterman, Mike Probert, Brian Curtis, Roy Jones, Alison Merryweather-Clarke, Richard Bennett, Lorna Curtis, Judy Kirby, Donna Murphy, Hugh Deam, Paul Lucas and Graham Nichols.
London, Cambridge, Double Oxford, St Clements, Little Bob & Stedman.
St Andrew · Chedworth
Chedworth The village is probably best known for its having one of the best preserved Romano-British sites in England. Set amidst the woods, a mile or so to the west of the village, this 2nd century villa was re-discovered in 1864. Chedworth has long been settled, being described as Ceddanwryde (Cedda's Enclosure) in 862 AD. The River Churn and the River Coln merge here at Chedworth, situated as it is on the lower slopes of a steep-sided valley that is overlooked by "Pancake Hill" and between the Roman roads, Fosse Way and Ermin Way. Chedworth stands comparison to most any of the perhaps more famous Cotswold villages, providing a wealth of photo opportunities, from the pub (The Seven Tuns) across to the classic example of a working water-wheel and further up the hill to the beautifully appointed parish church, set on high ground. The marvellous bells are rung from the ground floor, with a set of steps leading up to the exterior tower door between the treble and number two bell. Each bell-rope has a beautifully made floor mat beneath them with a representation of ropes and sallies
St Andrew · Chedworth
St Michael · Withington
woven into the design so as to correspond with the bell number. Withington Noted as Wudiandun in 737 AD, the village name denotes that this was a hill owned by a man called Widia. During Saxon times there was an important early monastery here. Channel Four's popular programme "Time-Team" conducted an archaelogical dig here in early 2006. The Mill Inn in Withington is credited locally as being the place where the iconic meal of fried chicken & chips in a basket originated back in the 1960s. A host of elegant limestone cottages and a lake flank the primarily 13th century parish church, which was described by William Cobbett in 1826 as being "the Cathedral of the Cotswolds". The tower is equally imposing and grandiose, with the bells being an excellent six, although the tenor is very finely set and is a challenge to stand at the first time of asking.
Sunday 16th September 2012
St Nicholas
(6) 7-1-17 in A · Hatherop · Glos GL7 3NB
Hugh Deam, Judy Kirby, Matthew Malek, Charles Smith, Roy Jones, Paul Lucas and Donna Murphy.
Cambridge, St Clements, Little Bob & Stedman.
St Nicholas · Hatherop
Hatherop The village is widely noted for its abundance of beech woods, situated as it is close to the course of the Roman road, Akeman Street as it crosses the Leach Valley. Taking its name from the Anglo-Saxon description for a high outlying farmstead, the notation in the 1086 Domesday Survey was as Etherope. Even though there was a settlement here well before Norman times the majority of the housing dates to the middle of the 19th century when it was conveived as a Victorian "model" village. The church is situated adjacent to Hatherop Castle
St Nicholas
School, with access via the heart of the school or a long path that wends its way from the lych-gate on the main road. The original church dated from 1545, but it was completely rebuilt in 1855 for Lord de Mauley by Henry Clutton and William Burges, this being the same year that the duo won a competition to build Lille Cathedral. The basic form of the original church was retained, together with the nave roof. Burges notably contributed the elaborate French Gothic mortuary chapel which contains a carved marble effigy of Barbara, Lady de Mauley by Raffaelle Monti. The bells are rung from a large chamber, with the ropes set in a semi-circle, and very easy to ring.
Sunday 29th July 2012
St Martin (6) 9cwt in A
The Stag's Head
All Saints(5) 8-1-20 in Ab
Hugh Deam, Susan King, Alison Merryweather-Clarke, Neil Ephgrave, Judy Kirby, Donna Murphy, Anthony Hughes, Paul Lucas, Mike Probert, Roy Jones, Bernard Masterman and Roger Stranks.
St Clement's, Little Bob, Plain Bob Minor, Stedman, St Martin's, St Simon's & Grandsire.
Sandford St Martin
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
St Martin
The Stag's Head
large and powerfully depicted paintings, and also 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. After a generous Sunday lunch at the dyed in the wool country pub of The Stag's Head in Swalcliffe, it
The pond at Wroxton
Part of the village
was off to Wroxton. Documented as Werochestan in the Domesday Book (1086) the name of the village denotes a stone of the buzzards or other birds of prey. Wroxton was situated on the ancient Saltway, so named as it was the route used for transporting salt from the works in Worcester to London. There is one of the earliest surviving, and best preserved, iron-stone guide posts on the main road here, dating to 1686. An Augustinian Priory, Wroxton Abbey, was founded here in 1217, and although no longer a priory, the building and its capacious grounds still dominate the village. The house itself is not open to the public, but the grounds are, with a lake, cascade, serpentine, Chinese-bridge, ice-house and obelisk all contained within. The majority of the elegant housing in the village is 17th and 18th century, although those adjoining the church and Abbey grounds are generally earlier. The spring-fed village pond has few peers in the country, with a clarity so great that the
All Saints
In the ringing chamber
multitude of fish, and occasionally frogs, are clearly visible. To the rear of the pond is the village pump and at the centre is a thatched hut built as a safe haven for the ducks from prowling foxes. For many centuries this spring was the source of Wroxton's water supply. The pond even has its own webpage monitoring the coming's and going's there. The impressive parish church, set on demonstrably high ground, is a mixture of 14th and 15th century work, being constructed of local Horton ironstone, with a medieval wall-painting above the chancel screen. Grand canopied tomb of Sir William Pope. The bells, cast by Henry Bagley in 1676, are rung from the ground floor, the old oak frame having been replaced by a cast-iron frame in 1998, and the original five clappers hanging on the wall of the ringing room.
Doubles moving on to Minor Practice
Saturday 30th June 2012
St Giles
(6) 4-2-25 in Db · Tetsworth OX9 7BH
Erica Ashton, John Hearn, Paul Lucas, Anita Clayton, Anthony Hughes, Matthew Malek, Hugh Deam, Roy Jones, Alison Meryweather-Clarke, Neil Ephgrave, Judy Kirby and Robert Patterson.
St Clements, Bob Doubles, Bob Minor and Grandsire.
Tetsworth · St Giles
Tetsworth Even if you have never rung there, many of you may well be familiar with the tower and spire of Tetsworth if you have ever traversed the M40 to and from London, as it is clearly evident on the horizon between Wheatley and Postcombe. The parish church was rebuilt between 1855 and 1857 in an Early English style, with the stonework around the window in the ringing chamber having two dated building blocks stating "Built 1855" and "Built 1857". The light ring of six bells were cast at Whitechapel and installed in 1936. Our thanks are due to John Hearn, steeple-keeper here, for the use of the bells
St Giles
which helped us succeed in making this a particularly progressive practice for those who were wishing to consolidate their trebling, their Grandsire and Plain Bob Doubles, venturing onto Plain Bob Minor and then St Clements. Since the first of these deliberately non "hot-house" style practices at Launton, on a snow-laden Saturday in Febraury, several of our participants can clearly measure just how significant their progress has been during the past five months. The fact that we encourage as many of those taking part as so wish to conduct during a session is also an added skill that can be taken back to benefit practices at home towers. It should be said that the salutary weather also helped in ensuring that this was one of our universally best ringing sessions this year.
Saturday 23rd June 2012
St Martin
(6) 10-3-23 in G · Zeals · Wilts BA12 6NL
St John Bapt
(6) 9cwt in Ab · Hindon · Wilts SP3 6DJ
The Black Dog Inn
Chilmark · Wilts SP3 5AH
St Peter
(6) 10-2-1 in F# · Codford St Peter · Wilts BA12 0NQ
Holy Trinity
(6) 9-0-18 in G · North Tidworth · Wilts SP9 7HJ
Jane Burgess, Hugh Deam, Jim Lilley, Graham Nichols, Ron Bugess, Neil Ephgrave, Paul Lucas, Mike Probert, Alan Coates, Roy Jones, Matthew Malek, John Pusey, Linda Coles, Judy Kirby and Donna Murphy.
Cambridge, Oxford TB, Double and Single Oxford, St Clements, Little Bob & Stedman.
Zeals Documented as Sele (Anglo Saxon for a sallow tree, now known as a willow) in the Domesday Book of 1086, by 1176 the settlement name had been pluralised to Seles. Archeological evidence has been discovered of Neolithic habitation here on what is now the western edge of Salisbury Plain. RAF Zeals was alternatively used by the Royal Air Force, USAF, the Royal Navy and then the RAF again from 1942 to 1946.
St Martin · Zeals
The tower in more detail
The church, built 1842 - 44, is in the Decorated Gothic style so favoured by its architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, this being one of his earliest designs. Originally a chapel of ease for Mere, it was made a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1848. The six bells were cast by Mears & Stainbank in 1876, but were not able to be rung full-circle from 1962 due to the dynamic stress on the spire and tower. A tower and bell restoration appeal in 2009 resulted in extensive structural and masonry repairs and a smaller steel frame replacing the oak frame, with the bells now rung from a superb gallery.
One of the two guardians
of St Martin's ringing chamber
St John the Baptist
Hindon The name of the village denotes that this was originally an Anglo-Saxon hillside settlement belonging to a religious community. Although now a village, Hindon was once a market town, but the railway route from London to Taunton bypassed here and subsequently coaching traffic declined from the 1830s onwards. A devastating fire swept through Hindon on July 2nd 1754, laying waste to about 150 houses; Charitable donations from across the south of England helped pay for a course of rebuilding. The parish church by Thomas Henry Wyatt, 1871, replaced the original Free Chapel. The bells are rung from a
The Black Dog Chilmark
The medieval interior
relatively small ringing chamber and are pleasingly fluent. Lunch at The Black Dog, Chilmark. This is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable pubs we have frequented for an outing lunch down the years. The variety and excellence of the meals would have been reason enough to proffer a recommendation, but none of us can recall having lunch in a bijou medieval dining hall watched over by a knight in armour, and this being just a fraction of the intriguing items and fixtures which bedeck this wonderful pub. Codford St Peter Originally called Coddun Ford (Codda's fording-place), there has been a settlement here for over 1000 years. The twin villages of Codford St Peter and St Mary are set beneath the pre-historic remains of Codford Circle, an ancient hill-top meeting place that looks out over Salisbury Plain, being 617ft at its zenith. For several centuries the majority of villagers
Codford · St Peter
St Peter's clock mechanism
were employed by the wool trade in one capacity or another. St Peter's church stands on the lower slopes of Malmpit Hill, and is Saxon in its origin, but underwent a rebuilding during the 19th century. On display here is a unique 9th century Saxon Bath-stone carving of a moustacheod young man in a smock holding an alder branch whilst dancing on its east face and willow leaves and honeysuckle buds on the west face. Queen Victoria's 4th son Prince Leopold was a regular worshipper here and his coat of arms are to be seen in a hatchment within the chancel. The original thee bells of 1553 were recast in the 17th century when a fourth bell was added, and a fifth in 1725. The treble was added after Wold War II as a memorial to the fallen. The bells are a pleasing six well worth visiting.
Holy Trinity · North Tidworth
North Tidworth First noted as Tudanwyrthe (Tuda's enclosure) around 990 AD, the twin Tidworth villages have the notable distinction of North Tidworth being in Wiltshire and South Tidworth being in Hampshire. With its proximity to Salisbury Plain, Tidworth is a distinctly military town, being home to the 1st Mechanised Brigade. The barracks are named after battles fought in India and Afghanistan (Aliwal, Lucknow, Candahar, Bhurtpore and Delhi). Also evidencing ite military heritage, the Polo Club here is the second largest in the country, with Pince William and Harry both having played on these grounds in recent years.A place of worship existing here was first referenced in 1291, with the current church being a rebuilding of the 15th century. The tower has a history of needing repair, with three of the bells dating back to 1619. The bells are rung from the ground floor and are situated beneath the original 16th century wooden frame.
Mini Outing
Saturday 16th June 2012
St Mary V
(6) 14-3-18 in F · Charlton on Otmoor · Oxon OX5 2UA
Ian Cresshull, Jonathan Cresshull, Pat Cresshull, Hugh Deam, Andrew Dunn, Anthony Hughes, Roy Jones, Judy Kirby, Paul Lucas, David Parks & Willie Haynes.
Norwich, Cambridge, Oxford Treble Bob, Stedman and Grandsire.
SMV · Charlton on Otmoor
Charlton on Otmoor Noted in 1086 as Cerlentone (farmstead of the freemen), the affix of 1314 denotes the expanse of marshland here. The parish was originally attached to the monastery of St Ebruff in Normandy, but at the Dissolution it passed into the possession of Queen's College, Oxford. A later rector here was Dr Lamplugh, who went on to gain notoriety as the "Vicar of Bray", becoming synonymous with the art of complex deviousness. The land surrounding the village is a veritable wildlife oasis, with the River Ray wending its way through one of England's few remaining substantial areas of remote fenland. Otmoor is shaped like a dish and consequently rarely drains, with in wet weather the river reverting to flowing backwards. The 13th century parish church is centrally located within the village, and its tower can be seen from many miles around rather like the towers in the fenlands of East Anglia. Charlton was one of the villages where on May Day morning girls would dress all in white and carry garlands on the way to place the May-Cross on top of the church's garlanded 15th century rood-screen. Although constructed in the Early English Gothic-style, the church was substantially altered in the following century to the Decorated Gothic-style. The bells are a fairly heavy and exceedingly satisfying ring of six.
Mini Outing
Saturday 26th May 2012
All Saints
(6) 7cwt in Bb · Coleshill · Oxon SN6 7PR
St John Bapt
(6) 10-1-15 in F# · Hannington · Wilts SN6 7RW
Hugh Deam, Judy Kirby, Donna Murphy, Neil Ephgrave, Bernard Masterman,
Graham Nicholls, Roy Jones, Alison Merryweather-Clarke and David Parks.
Cambridge, St Clements, Little and Plain Bob & Stedman.
Coleshill As the name suggests the village is situated adjacent to the River Cole which acts as the county boundary between Oxfordshire and Wiltshire with the imposing Perpendicular church standing on high ground overlooking the village to the north and Wiltshire to the south. Much of the area is administered by the National Trust who oversee the Buscot and Coleshill Estates, which include Badbury Woods, a popular spot for visitors as it includes the remains of an Iron-Age hill-fort on its fringe. The great house of the village, Coleshill House, was considered to be a near masterpiece of classic English architecture and served as the headquarters of Britain's secret auxiliary units during World War II. Sadly the house was destroyed by a fire in 1953. The church was restored during the 18th century with funds provided by the Earl of Radnor, whose family name is
represented in the name of the pub here, The Radnor Arms. The bells are an easy to ring six, but are not exactly mellifluous. Hannington The village name denotes a hill frequented by cock birds and was originally built in the form of the letter Y, with the manor house of Hannington Hall dating to 1653, having been commissioned to be constructed as their family home by Raufe and William Freke and approved as Grade II Listed in 1955. The church is situated to the east of the village amidst open countryside and contains several monuments to the Freke family who endowed the village and church down the centuries. The ringing room is accessed via a magnificent wooden lattice-work spiral-staircase, with the bells being a peerless six that demand a raft of superlatives such as sublime, sonorous and must visit again.
Friday 6th April 2012
St Giles
(6) 2-2-15 in E · Imber · Wilts SN10 4NG
Jackie Abbott, Terry Hester, Jane Burgess, Roy Jones, Ron Burgess, Paul Lucas, Lynda Coles, Alison Merryweather, Victor Coles, Carolyn Mitchell, Brian Curtis, Francis Mitchell, Lorna Curtis, David Parks, Hugh Deam, John Pusey, Neil Ephgrave, Ailsa Reid, Adrian Gray, Brian Shacklady and John Hearn.
Cambridge and Plain Bob Minor.
Imber This unique village and its Grade I Listed church is only open on a handful of days per year, primarily for integral religious services over Christmas, Easter and Remembrance. First documented the military manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain began in 1897, with soldiers being billeted at Imber Court in 1916. The Ministry of Defence began purchasing land in and around Imber in 1927, with the village being wholly evacuated by 1943 when it was used by U.S. forces for intensive combat training prior to the D-Day landings. Although the dispersed villagers were
A C17th change table above
Preparing to ring
promised that they could return to Imber after the war this promise was not honoured. The road to the church is normally only traversed by tanks and armoured vehicles, and is strictly bordered by warnings not to divert from the road. Just west of the village is one of the many designated extreme danger areas amidst Salisbury Plain. The 10th century church was kept in only modest repair for the next half century or so up until 2002 when it was handed over to the care of Salisbury Diocese who placed its renovation and stewardship in the hands of the Churches Conservation Trust. Although many of its fixtures and fittings were dispersed to other churches, the 13th and 15th century wall-paintings are of immense interest as well as the 17th century table of changes for bellringers high on the wall of the ringing lobby.
Keep out !
St Giles
A war memorial
Many warnings
Most notable of the omissions from the church are the Crusader Tombs that were relocated at Edington Priory. An Easter Egg hunt in the churchyard is held after Morning Service on Easter Day. Originally a set of five bells, the only peal upon which in the 1920s is denoted on a peal board in the church, the completely new light ring of six, rung from the ground floor, were installed in 2009/10 underneath the original bell frame and require deft handling.
Mini Outing
Saturday 31st March 2012
St Bartholomew
(6) 5-3-17 in B · Nettlebed · Oxon RG9 5DA
Hugh Deam, Paul Lucas, Tim Hillsden, Matthew Malek, Roy Jones, Bernard Masterman, Susan King, Alison Merryweather-Clarke, Judith Kirby, Robert Pattinson, Mary Kirkness and Jonathan Talllis.
Plain Bob Minor, Grandsire & Reverse Canterbury.
Ringers at Nettlebed
Nettlebed The name of the village denotes the proliferation of nettles here in centuries past. Nettlebed long stood on a major coaching route between London and Oxford, with employment resulting from the nettles yielding a thread that could be made weaved into linen cloth. Even though the village is not mentioned in the Domesday Book it is known that there was a Roman encampment here, with their soldiers being thought to have rubbed nettles on their limbs as a way of keeping warm.
St Bartholomew
Many tools from the Stone Age that were discovered in local earthworks are now on display in the Ashmolean Museum. Some 800 years ago this part of the Chilterns was recognised to be rich in the type of clay suitable for potters and brick-makers, and thus Nettlebed expanded due to the demand for pots, pans, and clay-ware. Bricks continued to be made here up until the 1930s, with the remaining kiln later adapted for burning lime. The famed Ravenscroft lead crystal table-glass made in Henley from 1674 onwards required the specific sand sent from Nettlebed in order to change its formula to produce the glass we know today. The Fleming family, including Ian Fleming, the creator of suave super-spy James Bond, have lived in the manor house for many years. There has been a church in Nettlebed for some 1000 years, the present parish church being the third building here, dating to 1846 - 56. It is set amidst Georgian housing along the High Street. One of Britain's most celebrated stage and screen stars, Dame Celia Johnson (Brief Encounter) is buried in the churchyard here. The bells are a fine six, cast at Whitechapel in 1846, and re-hung in a steel frame in 2000.
Saturday 24th March 2012
10:30 St Helena & St Mary
(8) 14-0-16 in F · Bourn · Cambs CB23 2SG
12:00 SMV
(8) 16-0-14 in Eb · Gamlingay · Cambs SG19 3ER
13:15 The Duncombe Arms
Eltisley Rd · Waresley · Cambs SG19 3BS
15:00 St Andrew
(6) 7-2-11 in G · Caxton · Cambs CB23 3PL
16:00 St Bartholomew
(6) 13-2-11 in F · Great Gransden · Cambs SG19 3AF
All ringers at Gamlingay
Alice Burrell, Anthony Hughes, Bernard Masterman, Christian Burrell, Roy Jones, Alison Merryweather-Clarke, Hugh Deam, Susan King, Michael Probert, Andrew Dunn, Judith Kirby, John Pusey, Neil Ephgrave, Paul Lucas, Rachel Pusey, Sarah Franklin, Claire Malone-Lee and Leon Thompson.
Bourn Taking its name from the brook here, which feeds into the River Cam, the village was once guarded by a castle which was burnt down during the Peasants Revolt. The Romano-British had an encampment here, and later the Vikings settled the area, with a wealth of remains having been unearthed from both eras.
Gamlingay grotesques
Bourn Hall, a Jacobean mansion and estate bordering the church was built amidst the earthworks of a 11th century castle that was ordered by Picot, Sheriff of Canbridge. The mid 13th century cruciform church is constructed of pebble rubble with a west tower of roughly the same time, capped by a crooked spire almost on a par with the famous example to be found in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Gamlingay Sir George Downing, 1st Baronet of Gamlingay, although a well known politician in the 17th century, is now best remembered for his legacy of having Downing Street in London named after him, with his grandson, the 3rd Baronet founding Downing College, Cambridge. The 12th century church, and its extensions, is in the Early English style, constructed of local field stones and russet carstone, the church being generally considered to be one of the most architecturally significant in the east of England. The large 14th century square tower is embattled, has a two-storeyed porch, and is enriched by gargoyles below the battlements. The churchyard is bordered on one side by almshouses of 1665. The bells are rung from a
The Duncombe Arms
To the right of the pub
Note the thatched fox above
gallery and are well suited to more advanced method ringing. Next, a hiatus in the ringing with a superb lunch at easily one of the best pubs in this, or any other, part of the country, namely the Duncombe Arms in Waresley, a village itself worthy of mention for the numerous thatched cottages each with a different thatched creature atop them. The afternoon's ringing first took in Caxton. The village, situated on the course of the Roman Road of Ermine Street, is probably best known for the "Caxton Gibbet", a local knoll that had constructed atop it an infamous gallows and attendant cages that saw numerous hangings during the 17th century in particular. The original gallows no longer exists, but there is a late 19th century replica now on the same site. The heavily restored church (1863 - 69) is situated just to the south of the village, but retains its 14th century
Great Gransden
west tower and chancel of the previous century to that. Although the tower has no band, the bells still ring surprisingly well. Great Gransden The two-storey weather-boarded post-mill here is the oldest (1612), and one of the finest, surviving examples of its type, now listed as an ancient monument. The church is constructed of brown cobbles and is Perpendicular and embattled throughout, with a west tower of four stages. The carillon-chimed clock mechanism of 1683 is of particular interest to dedicated horologists. Long rung from the ground floor, the bells are now rung from a gallery and are an unarguable treat to experience for any visiting ringers.
Saturday 11th February 2012
Launton ABVM
6 6-3-21 in Bb
Anita Clayton, Roy Jones, Matthew Malek, Hugh Deam, Judith Kirby, Robert Pattinson, Damaris Everett, Mary Kirkness, Charles Smith, Steve Everett, Paul Lucas, Steve Jeffrey and Mike MacArthur.
Plain Bob Doubles, Grandsire Doubles, Reverse Canterbury Doubles & Plain Bob Minor.
Launton · ABVM
The infamous metal staircase
Launton Edward the Confessor gave the parish of Langetun (a long settlement) to the Abbey of Westminster in 1065 in order to provide the monks with financial support. The monks are credited with the construction of the first chapel, which was later enlarged to make this a fully fledged church in 1265. At 7.30pm on Monday 15th February 1830, a 2lb meteorite, about the size of a cricket ball, fell to earth in a ploughed field adjoining the village. The relative rarity of such an occurence being witnessed is borne out by the fact that it now resides in the Natural History Museum, London. Although the tower itself is relatively broad, the ringing chamber only utilises one corner of it, being accessed by a steep exterior metal staircase. The reason for this goes back to the 19th century when the bells were rung from the ground floor thus allowing the ringers easy access for barrels of beers to be taken inside for celebration of the Battle of Waterloo, but which then turned into an ongoing situation. Church authrities were not best pleased at this intoxication and had the bells moved upstairs with access that was impossible to transport barrels into. The present six bells were cast by Gillett & Johnston of Croydon in 1907, although the Sanctus Bell survives from 1352.