Bells 10 Tenor Weight 19-2-7 Note E flat
Dedication All Saints'
Practice Night Tuesday: 19.30 - 21.15 (19.00 Learners)
Sunday Ringing 9.15-10.00; Evening ringing by arrangement (see below).
OS Grid reference  
Tower Contact

Roy Barclay


Toilet Facilities Indoor toilet, with disabled access and baby changing facilities.
Car Parking There is no parking immediately outside the church. However, there is a free public car park in Bell Lane (almost opposite the church). If this is full, there is street parking in South Bank (down Bell Lane and first left), approx 100 yards from the church.
Local Facilities Until recently Staplehurst was well served with places to eat and drink. However the only pub still open in the centre of the village is the King's Head (almost opposite the church) which does food, although there is also The Railway Tavern near the station about ¾ mile away. There are also two Chinese takeaways, an Indian Restaurant/takeaway and a Fish and Chips takeaway within 200 yards of the church.
Peals Rung 100 Quarters Rung (since 1998) 290
Tower Notices

Staplehurst no longer ring every Sunday evening although twice a month the local band normally attempt a quarter peal. Visiting bands are welcome to attempt a quarter on other Sunday evenings - please contact the tower secretary for availability.

Tower News  
Historical Notes

The earliest records of settlement in Staplehurst date from the 8th century, so a Christian community has been living on the site - a ridge of Paludina limestone rising some fifty feet above the flat Weald - since at least that date. Although the exact date of its foundation is not known there has been a church here since the eleventh century. The present structure is predominantly of Kentish ragstone and most of it dates from the mid-1400s. The six-buttressed tower at the west end of the church has five stages: the ground floor - the main entrance to the church; the ringing chamber; the clock chamber containing the clock by Thwaites and Reed of Croydon (1888); the bell chamber with its ring of ten bells hung in a galvanised steel frame; and the roof of timber with lead cladding.

There was formerly a shingle spire, which blew down in a gale in 1673. Still to be found in the bell chamber is the timber trusswork that supported the spire. These massive oak beams included dragon beams at the corners which suggest that the spire overhung the walls to a certain extent, and that the present battlements were only constructed after the collapse of the spire.

There was originally a ring of five bells in the tower. These were partly recast at Whitechapel Foundry by Mears and Stainbank and completely rehung in a new (but not very well designed) oak frame in 1885. The old fourth cast by Joseph Hatch of Ulcombe in 1605 was retained and together they formed a new ring of eight. An old local tradition states that at the rehanging some scandal was caused by two horses from the manor being brought into the church to haul the bells up into the bell chamber by walking up the aisle harnessed to the hoisting rope, but practical considerations make this unlikely. A special service of dedication was conducted by the Bishop of Hereford, who was connected with the patronage of the living by being a quondam fellow of St John's College Cambridge, on St Mark's Day 1885.

The eight bells were rehung by Alfred Bowell of Ipswich in 1930 with partly new fittings and, apart from routine maintenance, nothing more was done for nearly half a century. Then, in 1979, minor works were undertaken, comprising the replacement of slider boards, roller boxes and wheel braces. However, by the late 1980s the bells were becoming increasingly difficult to ring, and it became clear that this "good old-fashioned country eight" were in need of major restoration. The bearings were worn out. The frame was not well designed, it was propped up on emergency steel beams, was rotten in places and had too much movement. The bells were, unsurprisingly, hard to ring and it was very difficult to teach learners. In 1992, a restoration appeal was launched to enable the bells to be rehung in a new steel frame with all new fittings.

The rehanging was finally accomplished in 1997 along with the addition of two new trebles, the gift of a parishioner in memory of her late husband. The restored and augmented ring of ten was dedicated on Easter Day 1997.

The first peal on the newly augmented ring, Grandsire Caters, was rung on the 29th of December 1997, rung by a predominantly local band and was conducted by the tower captain Chris Bassett. The 100th peal in the tower was accomplished recently, on the 18th of April 2015, being a peal of Plain Bob Royal. This was rung by an entirely local band and conducted by the tower captain, Daniel Brady.

Would you like to learn to ring at this tower?
Contact Daniel Brady: