Castle Bromwich (8)

SS Mary and Margaret
Bells: 8
Weight: 10-3-14 in Ab

Tower Contact
Ben Sassons
07786 030413
Email the Tower Contact

Practice: Wednesday 19:30-21:00
Service: Sunday 09:30-10:00

What is rung?
Rounds up to Plain Bob Doubles

Additional information
Access to the tower via the door at the west end of the Church.
Practices are followed by socialising in the Remembrance Club nearby.

External websites
Peals rung on the bells (Peals database William Hall)
Peals rung on the bells (Felstead)
Dove’s Guide
Church Bells of Warwickshire – Castle Bromwich
Castle Bromwich Ringers’ website


The three medieval bells were recast in 1717 and an additional two added by Joseph Smith of Edgbaston. This was probably at the instigation of Sir John Bridgeman II who inherited the lordship in 1710. Smith may have cast here on site, or as he was reasonably local, at his own foundry near the White Swan at Westbourne Road near Harborne. Smith is also known to have cast bells for Handsworth, Northfield and Sheldon churches.

There is evidence in the Churchwardens’ Accounts (now in Warwick County Record Office) of the payment for the new bells in 1717: ‘Payd Joseph Smith for casting the bells £12 16s. 0d.’

Whether there were inscriptions on the older bells is not known. The inscriptions on the bells of 1717 are as follows, and are reproduced on the present bells which were recast in 1952:

Treble: Iohn Thornton: Thomas Sadler: Trustees 1717

2nd: Iohn Banner: Roland Brawbridge: Trustees 1717

3rd: William Sadler: Isaac Sadler: 1717

4th: Iohannes Brooke: S:T:B: Iohn Chattock: Chappell Warden 1717

Tenor: Sir John Bridgeman: Baronet 1717

To celebrate the wedding of the future King George V a sixth bell, a new tenor was added in 1893 inscribed: DEO LAUS – Praise God! All six bells were recast in 1952, the dedication of the bells occurred on Saturday 22 November, the last work undertaken by the now defunct but celebrated bellfounders Gillett & Johnston of Croydon. The weight, tuning and inscriptions of the recast bells are recorded in the ringing chamber:

Treble: 4-1-14 in F
Inscribed – Iohn Thornton: Thomas Sadler: Trustees 1717.
Allen Stephen Foden Verger since 1908.
Recast 1952 Gillett & Johnston Croydon.

2nd: 4-2-16 in Eb
Inscribed – Iohn Banner: Roland Brawbridge: Trustees 1717.
Thomas Marshall Steere Churchwardens 1946-1951.
Recast 1952 Gillett & Johnston Croydon.

3rd: 5-0-0 in Db
Inscribed – William Sadler: Isaac Sadler: 1717.
Clifford John Shaw Churchwarden since 1951.
Recast by Charles Carr Smethwick 1893.
Recast 1952 Gillett & Johnston Croydon.

4th: 5-3-12 in C
Inscribed – Iohannes Brooke: S:T:B: Iohn Chattock Chappell Warden 1717.
Kenneth James Greene Churchwarden since 1952.
Recast 1952 Gillett & Johnston Croydon

5th: 7-2-16 in Eb
Inscribed – Sr John Bridgeman: Baronet 1717.
George Ernest Tomlinson Churchwarden 1949-1952.
Recast 1952 Gillett & Johnston Croydon.

Tenor: 10-3-14 in Ab
Inscribed – I celebrate the Wedding Day of George of York and Princess May.
Deo Laus.
18AD93. Henry Nicoll Forbes Rector since 1921.
Founded by Charles Carr Smethwick.
Recast 1952 Gillett & Johnston Croydon.

Weather vanes stood on top of the stone urns at the four corners of the tower before 1947; these were replaced after the recasting of the bells in 1952 by four of the old bell clappers. The fifth is now being used rather unceremoniously as a door stop for the door into the ringing chamber.

The six bells were augmented to 8, with the addition of two trebles cast by John Taylor & Co. in 2016.