St Nicholas Newnham
There are five
bells hung for full-circle ringing, and a sixth - dating from around 1500 - now hung
as a static “Sanctus” bell.
Until 2010 there were three bells, all 17th century or earlier, but in the years leading to 2010 the tower was deemed unsafe for full-circle ringing so they were only chimed. On Easter Monday 2010, two bell-ringers recorded the sound for posterity. Next day the bells were lowered, for the headstocks and bearings to be renewed by Whites of Appleton (Abingdon, Oxon). Three additional bells, from around the year 1900, were purchased, and these were retuned to match the original bells. The oldest bell was then stood down after many centuries of ringing out over the landscape, and in 2012 it was rehung as a static “Sanctus” bell. The new ring of five bells was blessed on 11 July 2010 and subsequently hung in the tower.
A full peal was first rung at a service of dedication on 19th September 2010 in which the Bishop of Winchester participated.
The current bells, with weights in hundredweights/quarters/pounds and diameters in inches, are:
No. 1 (Treble), note G, weight 2-3-3, diameter 23.50.
Formerly at Upper Beeding, Sussex, marked “Mears & Stainbank Foundry, London. Queen Victoria Jubilee 1897, H. D. Meyrick Vicar, G. A. Flowers [and] C. Budd. Church Wardens.” It was donated by the Earl and Countess of Buchan, Church Warden 1993-2010.
No. 2, note F, weight 3-0-4, diameter 25.00.
Formerly at Shiplake, Oxon. Marked “Cast by John Warner & Sons Ltd, London 1902”, it was donated by The Buckleys of Tithe Barn since 1971 (who left Newnham in 2011).
No. 3, note E, weight 3-1-15, diameter 26.50.
Also from Shiplake, cast by Warners in 1902.
No. 4, note D, weight 3-3-27, diameter 27.25.
An original tenor (note C) marked “Henry Knight made me 1662" (Henry Knight II. bell founder at Reading, 1662-1673);
No. 5, note C, weight 5-0-8, diameter 30.13.
An original tenor (note D) marked “Henry Knight made mee 1602” (Henry Knight I, bell founder, 1587-1622).
No. 6 (retired), weight 2-1-10, diameter 22.75.
The original treble (note F), marked with two crosses and “WH” (William Hasylwood, bell founder at Reading, 1494-1509). Now hung as a static Sanctus bell.
* Towers with three bells or less in the Basingstoke area. D. A. Holmes (J. Hannon & Co, Oxford, 1979).
* Hampshire Church Bells. W. E. Colchester (Kingsmead Press, Bath, 1920, reprinted 1979).