boughton monchelsea


Tenor Weight 13cwt 3qr 2lb
Dedication St Peter
Practice Night Wednesday 7.30 - 9.00 pm
Sunday Ringing 9.30 to 10.10am
OS grid reference TQ771498     Click on Grid Refence to see map
Tower contact

Sonya Walsh
3-4 Bockingford Mill Cottages

Bockingford Lane

ME15 6DP

Tel: tba

E-mail contact
Toilet facilities One indoor toilet, plus additional one with disabled access and baby changing facilities.
Car Parking Church car park. Entrance on left, north of the church. Short walk of about 200 yards via stone path through woods to road and to church. Some parking on road at church is available but can be congested.
Local Facilities

The Cock Public House at Heath Road, approximately 1 mile from church, has a restaurant.

The Albion Public House (about ½ mile from church) was recently up for sale and may have closed so it's advisable to check first.

Peals Rung 2 Quarter Peals Rung (since 1998)  
Tower Notices

Visitors are welcome to our practice nights. At our best we ring Plain Bob Doubles, Reverse Canterbury Pleasure, Grandsire, St. Simon and its derivatives, All Saints, and the various combinations of all these.

Tower News None at present
Historical Notes

St. Peter’s church, Boughton Monchelsea, is at least of Norman origin. A little remains to be seen in the stonework of that time, but the main evidence is its central tower. There was much rebuilding of the church in the 14th. And 15th. Centuries and there are some fine arches of that period to be seen at the foot of the tower, then in 1832 there was a catastrophe, a fire that destroyed the nave. The nave was quickly rebuilt to the old ground plan. But along then came the Victorians and knocked it all down in 1875 to enlarge the church. The sanctuary was also much altered – given a new roof and east wall with a big new window. Central heating and new pews were installed and the whole floor tiled. Sadly the opportunity seems not to have been taken to check if there were Saxon foundations. (The Boltone in Eyhorne Hundred described in the Doomsday Survey as having a church could be either Boughton Monchelsea or Boughton Malherbe.) But 20th.  Century, and now 21st. Century worshippers have much befitted from the bigger and more comfortable building.

St. Peter’s has accumulated six bells over the Centuries. No. 3 is the oldest; a Giles Reeve bell of 1592, and weighing in at 5 cwt. 3 Stone and 15 Pounds. Next came No. 5 a Joseph Hatcher bell of 1614, and 9 cwt. 1 Stone 21 Pounds in weight. Then No. 4, made by James Bartlett of Whitechapel in 1693, and weighing 8 cwt. 0 Stone 22 Pounds. Then the Tenor, in 1727 by John Waylett and weighing 13 cwt. 3 Stone 2 Pounds. Finally the Treble and No. 2, both by John Warner and Sons, London and weighing 5 cwt. 1 Stone 16 Pounds and 5 cwt. 2 Stone 19 Pounds respectively.

The church records say nothing about how the 1880 bells were provided. But the church magazine of October 1902 tells of a special appeal for funds to carry out essential repairs to the church including the re-hanging of the bells which had not been rung since August. The magazine of March 1903 tells of the bells having been re-hung, and ringing again. The fine, sturdy wooden frame perhaps dates from this time.

In 1992 the bells were taken to Whitechapel for re-tuning, and have the elm headstocks replaced with Steel ones. Also the wheels were repaired. The frame remains in good condition.

The home team of ringers at St. Peter’s has never been capable of ringing a peal nor indeed a minor Method; far from it (though we should like to.) And there are records of only two peals having been rung there - in May 1904 following the re-hanging of the bells in 1903 and in 1993 following the re-hanging of the bells in 1992, - by visiting teams from the County Association. No record has been kept of quarter peals rung.

A central tower and a rather squat one at that, means that the ringing is done in full view of the assembling congregation, and has to be fitted in with the needs for preparing for the church services. However ringing does take place every Sunday, shared amongst a band of fourteen ringers, with three more soon to be ready for that. And we have lots of weddings to ring at.