Canewdon John Waylett bell.

Brian Meldon CanewdonBells at
Mon May 12 14:14:56 BST 2008

The cracked Canewdon treble, 3rd and tenor bells were taken down and
sent away for repair last Thursday, 8th May, by the Whitechapel Bell
One of them, the 1707 John Waylett tenor, was possibly cast locally.
It would be nice if we could be more certain about this for our
records. This is the bell with the wonderfully spelt name `WETHR
IENNENS' on the inscription band.
John Waylett cast 4 or possibly 5 bells in the Rochford area of Essex
 in 1707, Pagelsham's tenor (in `about 1706'), Little Wakering treble,
2nd and tenor and our Canewdon tenor, amazingly all still survive today.
What local facilities would have been required for him to cast these
bells? In Canewdon there was a forge in the blacksmiths shop for
example, would this had been an option? 
There is also an interesting local and apparently factual, tale about
our tenor being upturned outside the Anchor pub and filled with ale
when new in 1707.(I don't think we will be repeating that event this
time!)The Anchor is opposite the old forge site and at the far end of
the village from the church. The bell would have to have been taken
past the road to the church to reach the pub if it had been delivered
overland.  Having now seen bells being cast at Whitechapel, casting a
bell locally would be quite an achievement even today never mind 300
years ago.
I know that John Waylett was based in Bishop's Stortford and it is
thought that he was associated with John Thornton of Sudbury who took
over the foundry there in 1708 after Henry Pleasant had died in 1707.
He is also thought to have been using a foundry in Royston in 1707 as
well. But all these locations would have been a very long way to
transport a bell in 1707.
It is almost certain that we will not be able to find a definitive
answer as to where our Waylett bell was cast, but it is worth a try.

Brian Meldon


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