History of the bells
In 1618 there were three new bells in the old church tower, they had been cast by Henry Knight of Reading. There may have been other bells, perhaps a Sanctus Bell. The bells were taken down (about 1660) and stored in the church while the tower was being rebuilt (competed 1666). In 1673 the Vicar noted that the church “lyes more like a barne with five good bells lying here and there”. A new oak frame for five bells had been constructed, but almost immediately a new treble pit was added and three more bells were cast in 1675 by Ellis and Henry Knight of Reading. The bells were hung anticlockwise, as were many of the local churches on this side of the River Thames.
The Fifth was recast by Samuel Knight in 1701 and in the mid 1800’s any work needed on the bells was done by Albert White of Besselsleigh near Abingdon. In 1871, at the same time as the church clock was installed, the old third bell which had broken in 1860 was recast by Mears & Stainbank and was rehung by Frederick White of Appleton. The funds were raised by public subscription and the names of the committee and churchwardens are inscribed on the bell.
Sometime in the early 1900’s the six bells were rehung (still anticlockwise) by Richard White with new headstocks, strap gudgeons and self aligning ball bearings. The old six bells were augmented to eight in 1955 when Mears and Stainbank cast two new bells and recast the old Fourth to become the new Sixth. They were rehung clockwise in a new steel frame by Frank White.
The bells were refurbished in 1998 by Whites of Appleton with new gudgeons, clapper bearings and bushes.