The Only Church in the World with Two Active Rings of Bells, St.Andrew, Church Street, Rugby, Warwickshire.
Posted by: greysman
N 52° 22.366 W 001° 15.670
30U E 618373 N 5803922
Quick Description: St.Andrew's Church has two towers with active rings of bells in them, the west tower has a ring of five and the north-east tower a ring of eight.
Location: West Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 2/24/2012 2:51:13 PM
Waymark Code: WMDTX7
St Andrew's Church is Grade II* listed and is a C19th Anglican parish church which retains a significant proportion of C14th fabric. The majority of the church dates from 1877, designed by William Butterfield, and has additions of 1895/6 by Ewan Christian to Butterfield's design. Butterfield also designed several of the Rugby School buildings which can be seen around Rugby.
The church is built from Bath stone with some detailing in red Alton stone, and is set under a grey slate roof. Of roughly rectangular plan, it has a projecting sanctuary, choir vestry and north and south porches. There are two towers, one at the west, the C14th one, and the 'modern' one at the north-east.
The west tower is the visible remaining C14th element, a three-stage tower of squared and coursed limestone with rectangular slit windows, paired louvred openings to the bell chamber, and castellation. The church clock is in this tower. The tall north-east tower has a upper floor bellchamber, it is surmounted by pinnacles and a spire. They have high quality polychrome work, using a variety of elements and materials, and a decorative fishscale slate roof.
The west tower contains a ring of five bells all cast in 1711 by Joseph Smith, a bellfounder from Edgbaston near Birmingham. They sound in the key of A and vary in weight from 231kg, the treble to 484kg, the tenor. All the bells still have the canons as originally cast. These are the metal loops on the crown of the bell used to fasten the bell to the headstock which is the wooden beam with bearings each end, mounted into bearings in the frame and allowing the bells to swing through more than 360° so that ringing in the English tradition may be performed. They were overhauled and tuned in 1930 by the Taylors of the Loughborough Bellfoundry.
The north-east tower contains a ring of eight bells, also capable of being rung in the English traditional manner. They are a complete octave in D and were cast by Mears & Stainbank at Whitechapel, London, in 1896. Overhauled in 1992 they are a fine sounding ring. They weigh from 343.8kg, the treble, to 1261kg, the tenor. Practice night alternates between the two rings, both on a Monday, and the bells are rung regularly for divine worship and other church events.
Address of Tower:
St. Andrew :
Rugby, , Warwickshire, UK
Still Operational: yes
Number of bells in tower?: 8
Relevant website?: [Web Link]
Tours or visits allowed in tower?: Unknown
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.