[Bell Historians] Close But Different

Richard Smith richard at pAbOxLIxzS2SdzW2mJWP1Zw8Wa6uX30dWDbDCFoH3ObeqNx_uWe5mv6YDG7XIELF1nqP3j1Mx4b_rbU.yahoo.invalid
Wed Jun 27 16:57:51 BST 2012

Mike Chester wrote:

> Filling in a bit of time at the end of the day before I 
> can leave for home, I looked at Dove online and noticed 
> that the entry for North Ockendon had recently changed and 
> that it is in situated Greater London.  I knew that South 
> Ockendon is in Essex and wondered how close they were - 
> recommended driving route is 3.5 miles.
> Then I thought that we have something closer nearby. 
> Mancetter and Witherley are not only in different 
> counties, but also in different dioceses.  The driving 
> route here is 1.5 miles, but they are much closer as the 
> crow flies.
> Are there closer examples?

Yes.  According to Dove, the closest two churches in 
different modern counties, each with ringable bells, are 
Holt and Farndon, on opposite sides of the River Dee which 
forms the English-Welsh border.  Holt is currently in 
Wrexham and traditionally in Denbighshire; Farndon is in 
Cheshire.  They are about 300m apart.

Second place goes to Goring on Thames (Oxon) and Streatley 
(Berks) which are about 400m apart across the River Thames. 
Third place goes to Whitchurch on Thames (Oxon) and 
Pangbourne (Berks), about 500m apart across the Thames.  It 
should be noted, though, that the grid references in Dove 
are only accurate to 100m.

You may do better using traditional county boundaries, 
especially where county boundaries ran through the centre of 
a town.  I don't have the data to do a full analysis of 
that.  Southwark Cathedral (Surrey) and St Magnus the Martyr 
(Middx) is a candidate, as is All Saints, Newmarket (Cambs, 
though unringable) and St Mary, Newmarket (Suff).  Both seem 
to be very slightly further apart than Holt and Farndon.



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