St. Matthew's Harwell, Oxon

St. Matthew's Harwell, Oxon
(formerly Berks until 1974)

St. Matthew's Church
St. Matthew's on the Open Day in June 2002 for the Queen's Golden Jubilee.
Click here for News, or here for pictures of the bells, here for a list of tower captains.

Regular Ringing Times

The Tower Captain is Philip Roberts, tel: (01235) 861409  
Highfield, The Winnaway, Harwell, Didcot, Oxon OX11 0JG

Ringing for service is on Sunday starting at 10.30am and 5.30pm.

Practice night is joint with Chilton on Thursdays,


Beginners and ringers of any standard are welcome, contact the tower captain or just come to a practice.

Contact the Tower Correspondent (at the address given in Odd Bob ) for further information.

Travel Directions
St. Matthew's is in Church Lane, a turning about half way along the High Street of the village of Harwell. OS grid ref ( SU 493 890 ). Visitors coming by car can park in Church Lane. There are regular buses from Didcot to Harwell, Stagecoach 32 or 32A, or Thames-travel X32 Oxford express, which stop in the High Street less than 5 minutes walk from St. Matthew's, but none in the late evenings.

The ringing chamber access
The ringing chamber is on the first floor reached by a traditional type stone spiral staircase turning to the right. The chamber has a window looking down into the aisle.
The entrance to the staircase is through a small door from the vestry beneath the tower at the western end of the aisle inside the church. This door is unlocked only at ringing times.

Access to the belfry is easy, continue on up the spiral staircase to the next floor.

Refreshments:
The nearest pub is the 'White Hart' about a 5 minutes walk from the Church; turn right up Church Lane until you reach the High Street, where you turn right again and walk on until the main road takes a sharp right turn. 'The White Hart' is on the right, just before the turn, with a car park entrance just before the building.

The Bells

Bells have been rung in Harwell for almost 400 years. In 1932 two additional bells were added to the older 6 which are now the oldest existing ring of 6 in the world. ( See F.Sharpe, The Church bells of Berkshire p 127)

Since 1932 there have been 8 bells and a Sanctus bell; the tenor weighs 16-1-26 (cwt-qr-lb), diameter 47" in E.
bell no. weight
cwt-qr-lb
date cast founder inscription
treble 4-1-24 1932 Taylor of
Loughborough
* TAYLORS * FOUNDERS * LOUGHBOROUGH * 1932
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
THIS PEAL OF SIX BELLS
WAS COMPLETELY RESTORED
& TWO NEW BELLS WERE ADDED
BY THE BARRON BELL TRUST
IN 1932

EMMA BARRON, FOUNDER OF THE BARRON BELL TRUST.
F.HOPKINS,
P.M.WALROND,
H.W.ELDRED,
TRUSTEES.
(T)
2 4-3-7 1932 Taylor of
Loughborough
* TAYLORS * FOUNDERS * LOUGHBOROUGH * 1932
(T)
3 5-3-11 1611 William Yare
Reading
HYMFRIE LODER GAVE THIS BELL 1611
W (8) Y
4 6-3-2 1590 Joseph Carter
Reading
Praise ye the lorde 1590 (C)
I (6) C
5 8-0-14 1611 William Yare
Reading
THIS BELL WAS MADE 1611
W (8) Y
6 9-3-11 1612 William Yare
Reading
THIS BELL WAS MADE 1612
W (8) Y
7 13-1-27 1597 Joseph Carter
Reading
ThiS bell WaS Made in the Yeare of our lorde 1597 J (8) C
tenor 16-1-26 1612 William Yare
Reading
::::::::::::::::
THIS BELL WAS MADE 1612
W (8) Y
sanctus 1-3-0# ~1770 Robert Wells
of Aldbourne
R : WELLS ABOURN ....
Notes:
  1. in the inscriptions (T) means the Founders Mark of Taylors, (C) is the impression of a coin,
    numbers in (), e.g. (6) or (8) refer to figure numbers in F.Sharpe's book
  2. on the 4th, the 9 in the date 1590 is reversed it looks more like a p with a sloping tail.
  3. The canons of the larger bells were removed in 1932. The Sanctus is the only bell left with canons

Page last updated 7 Jun 2009


Click here to return to Bells Top page