Church of St.Mary the Virgin, The Causeway, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk. IP31 3AA.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member greysman
N 52° 18.108 E 000° 55.879
31U E 358948 N 5796621
Quick Description: There are six bells in the church tower hung for ringing in the English style.
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/15/2015 3:02:19 PM
Waymark Code: WMNPXH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 0

Long Description:
The church of St Mary the Virgin in Walsham-le-Willows is Grade I listed and entirely of Perpendicular design having been built in the C14th and C15th. It consists of a nave with north and south aisles, a chancel, a north porch and a vestry at the north side of the chancel, and a west tower. The interior was restored in 1878.

The church is built in random kidney flint with strap pointing and freestone dressings, there are lead roofs to the nave and aisles and plain tiles to the chancel.

The tower, of five stages, has a moulded freestone base, random black knapped flint to the lower stages with an admixture of small stone blocks, the four stepped diagonal buttresses are faced with freestone. It has a stair turret with 4 small slit windows on the south side. The west door has continuous multiple moulding to the arch and a hood-mould, there is a three-light window above with mouchettes in the tracery, and two-light cinquefoil-cusped Y-traceried bell-openings on each face at the fifth stage. The embattled parapet is faced with trefoil flushwork panels which, with the pinnacles, may have been added later. These pinnacles are "the armorial beasts of Edward IV: northeast, the bull of his Clarence dukedom; southeast, the griffin of his forebear Edward III; west - the white lions of his Mortimer ancestors” (Edward IV reigned 1461-70 & 1471-83.)

There is a ring of six bells in the tower, the tenor weighing 11½cwt (588.31kg) and sounding F#. The original treble, second, third, fifth and tenor were cast by Charles and Thomas Newman between 1699 & 1704. The fourth bell was dated 1576, possibly the replacement for an even older medieval bell, and cast by Stephen Tonni, the inscription round the bell reads 'DE ME TONNI STEFANVS EDMONDI SANTI BVRI FECIT 1576' [I, Stephen Tonni of Bury St.Edmunds, made it in 1576], but it was replaced in 1988 by one cast by John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough as it was found to be cracked. The fifth and the tenor were recast by John Warner in 1900.

The inscription on an oak tie beam is ‘THIS ROOF WAS MADE ANEW AND THE BELLS REHUNG A.D. 1900’ which is when the two heaviest bells were also recast.

In 1988 the bells were retuned. A new 4th was cast and all were hung with new fittings in the existing frame. The old bell was given to Moyse's Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds.

The five bells cast by Charles and Thomas Newman, presumably in Norwich, were given to the church by 'John Hunt Esqvier', also known as 'Captain Hunt'. The 2nd and 3rd have fine raised lettering recording 'IOHANNIS HVNT ESQVIER CHARLES *NEWMAN* MADE MEE 1699'.

Practice is on Friday evenings from 7.30 to 9.00 and the bells are also rung for Sunday services and on special occasions.

The following is an extract from Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers giving the bell weights in metric units, the note the bell sounds, the date of casting, and the founder:


       1 	223.62    D# 	1700 	Charles Newman
       2 	247.66    C# 	1699 	Charles Newman
       3 	291.20    B 	1699 	Charles Newman
       4 	415.49    A# 	1988 	John Taylor & Co (Bellfounders) Ltd.
       5 	476.27    G# 	1900 	John Warner & Sons
       6 	588.31    F# 	1900 	John Warner & Sons

Address of Tower:
Church of St.Mary the Virgin
The Causeway
Walsham le Willows, Suffolk UK
IP31 3AA


Still Operational: yes

Number of bells in tower?: 6

Rate tower:

Tours or visits allowed in tower?: Yes

Relevant website?: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please post an original picture of the tower taken while you were there. Please also record how you came to be at this tower and any other interesting information you learned about it while there.
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