Extract from an article titled ‘Our Bells’, published in the August 1977 issue of St. Mary’s Church Parish Magazine.
On November 19th 1949, the bells of St. Mary’s were heard for the first time in 36 years. Repair work had been carried out on the old bells and the new bell which was given as a thanksgiving for victory was dedicated, making the number up to six.
Charles Matson wrote:
The tower was built about the 13th and 14th centuries, and it is probable that one or more bells were then hung in it. It seems probable that the old third bell, now the fourth in our ring of six, which was cast early in the 15th century, was one of three, and it is possible that one or more of the others is a recast of the old ones. Three of our bells were cast in the 17th century and the main body of the bell frame is considered to be of this period, and there was obviously then a ring of five.
Early in the 20th century defects developed in the bell-frame and in the tower, and ringing proper was stopped c.1913 on this account.
The South Benfleet ringers who all rang on the dedication day were the misses M. Pearcey, A.J. Matson, B.N. Matson, Master P. Herbert and Messrs. G. Wines, W.E. Cooley, E. Quilter and C.L. Matson.
cwts qrs lbs
|Date & Founder||Inscription|
|1||6 1 0||1664 J. Hodgson|
|John Hodgson made me 1664. C.C,C.P.|
C. Wardens W.H.
|2||7 0 0||1790 Thos. Mears|
|Mr. Henry Blewitt|
Thos. Mears late Lester,
Pack & Chapman of London,
|3||8 2 0||Early 15th Century|
John Walgrave of
|Nomen Magdalene Campana|
|4||9 3 0||1676 Miles Graye|
|Miles Graye made me|
|5||13 3 0||1636 John & Henry Wilner of Borden,|
|J.W.,H.W. , made me|
1636, T.W, I.R., C.W.
|In 1949 a new bell, a treble, was added.|
|6||5 1 22||1949 Mears & Stainbank,|
|A Thanksgiving for Victory 1939 – 1945|