WESTMINSTER
ST STEPHEN, ROCHESTER ROW

A ring of 8 bells
Tenor: 24-0-18 in D flat
Frame: 1850 Charles & George Mears (possibly modified 1918)
Retuning: Never subsequently retuned
Rung from upstairs ringing room
Remains of Seage's Apparatus in ringing room and belfry
Tower stages:
1. Ground floor occupied with organ
2. Spiral staircase (in Lit SW corner) to ringing room
3. Ladder up Lit S wall to clock case platform.
4. Ladder up Lit S wall (W end) to belfry.
5. Ladders to floor beneath spire.
Grid Ref: TQ295790
Peals

DETAILS OF THE BELLS

Bell

Weight

Diameter

Note

Cast

Founder

1

6-2-22 31⅝" D flat

1850

Charles & George Mears

2

7-1-18 33⅛" C 1850 Charles & George Mears

3

8-3-2 35⅜" B flat

1850

Charles & George Mears

4

9-2-13 37⅞" A flat 1850 Charles & George Mears

5

11-3-0 40⅞" G flat

1850

Charles & George Mears

6

14-0-2 43?" F 1850 Charles & George Mears

7

18-0-10 47⅝" E flat

1850

Charles & George Mears

8

24-0-18 52" D flat 1850 Charles & George Mears
Diameters from a Whitechapel inspection 21st October, 1991.
1. C & G MEARS FOUNDERS, LONDON, MDCCCL
BLESSING
2. C & G MEARS FOUNDERS, LONDON, MDCCCL
GLORY
3. C & G MEARS FOUNDERS, LONDON, MDCCCL
WISDOM
4. C & G MEARS FOUNDERS, LONDON, MDCCCL
THANKSGIVING
5. C & G MEARS FOUNDERS, LONDON, MDCCCL
HONOUR
6. C & G MEARS FOUNDERS, LONDON, MDCCCL
POWER
7. C & G MEARS FOUNDERS, LONDON, MDCCCL
MIGHT
8. C & G MEARS FOUNDERS, LONDON, MDCCCL
BE UNTO OUR GOD FOR EVER
AND EVER AMEN. HALLELUJAH

The bells are fairly typical of the time, indeed, perhaps a little more in tune.  The tenor and 7th are close to true harmonic, but then those further to the front have increasingly sharp hums and flat primes. The tierces throughout are remarkably good.  In terms of the scale, the 4th is noticeably flat and the scale is stretched, that is to say, the bells become sharper and sharper nearer the front.  The treble is a quarter tone sharp compared with the tenor.  The tenor is a remarkably deep toned bell for its weight.

HISTORY

1847-50 Church built by Benjamin Ferrey.
1850 A ring of 8 bells was cast by Charles and George Mears and hung in the new tower in a new frame. The bells were donated to the church by Angela Burdett Coutts and cost ?820 13s. 2d. These bells were replicated in the now destroyed ring at New Westminster Cathedral, Canada, also given by Baroness Burdett-Coutts (as she became).  The bells were opened on 24th June.

The Whitechapel Day Book records: "Miss Burdett Coutts for St.Stephen?s Church, Westminster. To a Peal of 8 Musical Church Bells 6-2-22, 7-1-18, 8-3-2, 9-2-13, 11-3-0, 14-0-2, 18-0-10, 24-0-18 (100-2-1) @ 14d ?656.13.2., 8 Clappers ?10, 8 Stocks, Wheels, Ironwork, Brasses, Rollers & Ropes ?64, Oak frame making & fixing & hanging Bells ?84, 8 extra rollers, 105 Yards line 17/-, 32 ft Oak 4 by 2 11/6 nails 2/2 C. Oliver Junr T. Hurry J. Hurry 1 day each ?5.5.0., Boxes for ringers to stand upon Timber 5/7, Hurry ? day nails 1/6 15s, total ?820.13.2."

1918 Bells rehung and quarter turned by Mears & Stainbank
 

GALLERY

(Photographs of the belfry by Dickon Love, Christmas Eve, 2006.)
(Photographs by Dickon Love, May 2013.)
View of the belfry looking liturgical north/west. Tenor in the foreground. The 7th Looking liturgical north.
Looking litergical west. Ceiling of the belfry looking up to the spire floor. Looking down at some of the pieces of framework.
The tenor. The 4th. The framework is patched up with timbers and subsequently strengthened with metal.
View of the entire belfry.      
The ringing room.   Looking up in the ringing where the clock case sits on a platform.  Some of the ropes pass through this platform.