Sherington Historical Society - Home Page

Church Bells

The Church Bells of Buckinghamshire

Their Inscription, Founders, Uses and Traditions, etc
Alfred Heneage Cocks M.A.
(Joint) Hon Sec Bucks Architectural and Archaeology Society
Jarrold and Sons, 10 and 11 Warwick Lane, London EC

This publication includes a comprehensive description of the 5 bells in St Laud's. These details are reproduced below.

Church Bell details
Note: the number in brackets is the diameter of the bell lip in inches. Bell No. 1 is the Treble, bell No. 5 is the Tenor.

Treble (p. 101) (note: this page mentions Pack and Chapman 1773): much reduced by tuning. 2, 4, and tenor : by one of the Watts family (of Leicester), probably either William, or Francis I., and cast at Bedford (p. 149) (see extract below); the shield on 2 and tenor, is fig. 54 (scroll down ); the cross on 2, the p I and three following letters on 4, and the running pattern on all three, are on Plate XXIII (shown below). The cross on 4 is extremely indistinct, but appears to be a smaller edition (which occurs in Norfolk) of the cross on 2. The beautiful capitals on 2 and 5 are shown on Plates XXIV. and XXV. (shown below) ; the peculiar figures are about 1Ύ inch high. 4 is much reduced by tuning; tenor has crown staple broken. High canons to all three, and the old clappers. 3 : by Henry Bagley I. (p. 216) (see extract below); the ornaments not specified above, are a rose; the stops Nos. 4 and 5 on Plate XXXII. (shown below) ; and the Attons' running pattern, fig. 69,
Shield - Figure 69
of which the three single fleurs-de-lis are portions ; the coin is a groat, of an inch diameter ; large canons. Frame, seventeenth century, keyed. On the wheel of 2, is inscription and on the tenor's, is inscription the date on the latter, repeated on the other side.

1714, 5 bells.

Lipscomb, IV., 336: five bells, cast in 1577.

Browne Willis, MSS., xxxii., 51, quotes :—

Testamentum Mri Roberti Kencock Rectoris de Sherington 1535 . . . . . Item to ther bells vjd . . . . . . Item to ye ringers at my buriall & at my monyths mynd to have every tyme xvjd . . . . . Proved 11 May, 1535.

Lipscomb spells the name Kencot or Kencok, and states that he was collated to this living 28th May, 1529.

One of the bells from Filgrave Church is said to have been brought here; see under Tyringham, also Stoke Goldington. (Note: The tower of St Mary's church at Filgrave was pulled down in 1788. It had three bells, the other two are believed to have been transferred to Tyringham.)

The second is rung daily at 1 p.m., as " Dinner Bell."

The "Pancake Bell," on Shrove Tuesday ; and the Gleaning Bell, during harvest ; were formerly rung, but are now discontinued.

Death Knell : as soon as possible. Tellers : 3 strokes = a man, 2 = a woman.

Single Bell tolled at funerals, except for old ringers, when the bells are rung muffled.

On Sundays a bell is rung at 8am. For Services, the bells are chimed, and a Sermon Bell is rung, which is omitted when there is Holy Communion instead of Sermon. These are all old customs.

Ringing on Christmas and New Year's Eves ; on the Queen's Accession ; and for weddings, if paid for ; formerly on 5th November. A bell rung for Vestry Meetings, and in cases of Fire.

In the churchwardens' accounts, “ Ano” 1690, 1692, and 1693, “ Pd for a set of Bell ropes,” the price on the earliest occasion being 15s., and on each of the two latter, 16s.

Many thanks to the Rev. E. Elton, Rector.

Extract from Page 149 (Watts' Foundry)

Bucks has 3 other bells which may safely be ascribed to the Watts’ Bedford Foundry , although the two sets of letters employed have not been previously recorded on bells by any of the Leicester or Bedford founders ; but with so many bells by the Wattses, in Leicester, Northampts, and Beds, it is hard to believe that these letters were reserved for one tower only !

These bells are at Sherington (only eleven miles from Bedford). Two of them are inscribed in beautiful capitals, which I take to be the set called by Mr. L'Estrange, " Brasyer's larger alphabet," but not figured by him. They closely resemble the "smaller alphabet" used on the Westbury bell, but are a size larger. See Plates XXIV. and XXV. (shown below)

The second has :—

Gabrel Shield - Figure 54

preceded by " the Brasyer sprigged shield " (fig. 54) (shown on the right), and followed by the cross shown on Plate XXIII (shown below). The circuit of the bell's shoulder is completed by the running pattern on the same plate.

The tenor has the alphabet, in the same capitals, twice ; the first time as far as Q, the second time as far as S, with the sprigged shield at the beginning, and at the end the date, 1591, in remarkable, long-shaped figures. Above, the running pattern goes right round.

The fourth bell has this same pattern all round, except the space occupied by the date, 1591, in the same remarkable figures. Underneath, preceded by a cross, which is extremely indistinct, but is probably a smaller edition of that used on the second bell, comes the alphabet, in black-letter smalls, the letters a, r, s, being in duplicate, and j and w omitted ; z is followed by two letters more resembling r and e reversed, than anything else, and then comes w. These last letters are shown on Plate XXIII. Perhaps they stand for Watts, the founder ? Or they may be the initials of three of the Newcombe brothers. The alphabet and extras are repeated, and a third time as far as the letter t, where the circuit of the bell is completed.

Extract from Page 216 (Bagley)

1672 Sherington , by Henry Bagley I ; churchwardens' names and fig. 69 (shown above), a fragment of the running pattern No. 2 on Plate XXXII (shown below), with the rose from No, 3 on that Plate ; also Nos 4 and 5 and a coin.


Plate XXIV
Plate XXIV

Plate XXV
Plate XXV


Back to Saint Lauds
Back to Church Tower - Back to Church Inside Tour
Back to Church End - Back to VILLAGE PLACES

Home Page - Start the Village Tour - Email Us - Contacts
Latest Revision: 4 January 2008