Church Tower Church Tower

Notices Church Tower

Posted: Tuesday 8th June '10

Updated: Wednesday 9th June '21

The Revival

The events that paved the way for 'Planks for the memories...!

In recent years, numerous conversations about restoring the bells have taken place in the Clinton Arms between Terry Warrington, Andy and Janice Gist. This is not surprising as the Clinton Arms has been the regular haunt for a local team of campanologists after the strenuous efforts of practice. Sadly the pub has now closed.

Arising from these discussions, the idea that the bells might be restored to working order was reached. Enthusiasm grew and in the 2006 Christmas holiday, Mark Goldman, Les Billig and Greg Ball joined the group of enthusiasts.

The group had two major problems to overcome. Were the bells in working order? And who could form a resident team? Of course they would need some training - and there are no schools or courses in the locality.

Terry telephoned Andy Gist of St Giles, to ask for help and advice. He suggested Hilary and Dave Kent, who teach the Langtree Ringers, and who ring from two churches: one at Langtree, the other at Peters Marland.  Hilary kindly agreed to help teach us.

Sid Adams, who is the Church Warden and Tower Captain, was then approached to explore the next step. The word spread and we were soon joined by Roger Hunkin, Gareth Chanter, and Chris Ham.

The first, and a major step, had to be the clearance of rubbish deposited over many years by rooks and other birds in the tower. This was not an an easy task as there space is at a premium.  But enthusiasm prevailed and over 100 bags containing mainly rook's excrement and nesting materials. Once cleared, it was necessary to prevent the rooks re-entering the tower otherwise this work would have to be repeated.  Wire mesh was welded to the inside of the windows which successfully prevented any further incursions. Appropriate timbers have been treated and all moving parts oiled [see photo] and finally new ropes, kindly donated by Week St Mary, Tetcott, were fitted.

But before any ringing could take place a survey had to be made which was done by James Clarke. Upon a verbal `Yes, all's well', the enthusiasts immediately held their first practice session on the 14 August. Tuition and training now takes place on alternate Tuesdays.

In July 2010, a short video clip was made - taken without any extra lighting and while work was being carried out. Click on this link to hear our bells! YouTube


About the Tower

The west tower is 72 feet high to the parapet, diagonal buttressed at the base only. The rectangular stair-turret is to the east end of the north face, its sloping top is level with the top of the parapet, and the belfry openings are square-headed with two lights, the opening on the east is set in the centre of the outer face, not in the centre of the inner. There are small obelisk pinnacles. Ground floor ringing room. The foundations of the transeptal tower of the Priory church can be traced on the south side of the west end of the ruins, and in 1792, when the ruins were painted by the Rev John Swete, dated 1792, much of the tower arch was still standing.

A ring of six bells, hung for ringing in an oak frame by Harry Stokes, 1911, with a hoisted pit for the treble added by him later above the present second pit. Elm headstocks, plain bearings.


New Weather Vane

After many years without one, the Church Tower had a new weather vane installed (August 2011).  Donated by a parishioner, it replaces the one used (it is said) for target practice many, many years ago.



Key contacts

All the contact details have been given for the local clubs and groups, but please do contact us if you have any questions about what you’ve seen on this website.
Church : Sidney Adams 01805 622300
Village hall booking secretary: Michael Short 01805 623359
Playing field : Liz Hunkin  01805 623734
W.I. : Maureen Poole  01805 622834

Parish Clerk

Mrs Kate Graddock (BA Hons)
4 Springfield, Petrockstowe,
Devon, EX20 3HF

Phone: 07703 050496

Copyright 2013-21 Frithelstock Parish Council | All Rights Reserved | Website by All Coast Media