[Bell Historians] Community of the king of Love, Whaley Hall

David Sloman dsloman261 at gmail.com
Thu Dec 9 10:16:49 GMT 2021

The bell is 12 7/8 inches in diameter, lip to shoulder 10 inches, shoulder
circumference 22 inches. It was in private ownership at Ickleton near
Saffron Walden until it came up for auction. The bell was described as
possibly coming from Saffron Walden.
David Sloman

On Thu, Dec 9, 2021 at 9:53 AM Richard Smith <richard at ex-parrot.com> wrote:

> frjamie via Bell-historians wrote:
> > Many thanks for your kind email.
> >
> > I can confirm that my thoughts on the bell being older are
> > the fact that it was originally at Saffron walden,  and
> > sold in 1846.
> >
> > Details  on this are from Cecil Deeds.
> Are you saying this is the bell mentioned in Deedes &
> Walter's 'Church Bells of Essex' under St Mary's, Saffron
> Walden:
>    There was formerly a Priest's Bell, sold in 1849.
> If so, I'd first ask what the evidence is for that.  I've no
> particular reason to doubt it, other than the minor
> discrepancy in the date, but you don't want to be led down a
> blind alley.
> I should think it quite likely that some details of their
> former priest's bell (particularly its weight) might be
> recorded in the churchwardens' accounts or vestry minutes
> for the time, and you can compare them with the particulars
> of your bell.
> Perhaps you could share with us how much your bell weighs,
> its diameter at the lip, and its height to the crown (i.e.
> excluding canons)?
> > What we were not aware ar the times was 4 ecclesiastical
> > buildings being built their.
> >
> > These comprised of
> >
> > The Priory
> >
> > The Abbey 11 36 ad
> >
> > Church replaced earlier one built 11.30 Ad.
> The fourth presumably being the present church, which has a
> few features dating to the mid 13th century.
> However the abbey and the priory are the same place: the
> monastery was founded as a priory (in the 1130s or '40s –
> there's reason to distrust the 1136 date – see VCH Essex,
> vol 2, p 110), and upgraded to abbey status in 1190.
> And all we can say of the earlier church is that there was
> one.  We can only speculate where it was, and there's
> absolutely no reason to suppose it was built c1130 – that's
> simply the date of the earliest know reference to it.  (See
> Kenneth Dixon's 2000 history of the church for details.)
> However, having established the unsurprising fact that there
> were ecclesiastical buildings in Walden in the 12th century
> – the 'Saffron' was only added in Tudor times – this does
> not mean your bell is 12th century in origin, even if we
> accept it was the priest's bell at St Mary's.  Most bells
> are not coeval with the buildings which house (or housed)
> them – the original bells get damaged and are recast or
> otherwise replaced.  Otherwise, why not use the
> circumstantial evidence for a circa 9th century Saxon church
> to the west side of the High Street to say your bell is from
> the 9th century?  (I'll give you a clue: it isn't.)
> > This is why we wonder if it actually was cast in Belgium,
> > not England,  and is before 12 50 ad .
> Why Belgium?  Are you hoping that bell founding was
> significantly more advanced there, and that a 12th century
> bell cast there might look like an English bell cast several
> centuries later?  That really isn't the case, at least not
> in this period.  I'm not familiar with any 12th century
> Belgian bells, but I have studied enough bells elsewhere to
> know that even somewhere as far-flung as Iceland was
> following the same trends observed in Germany or Italy.
> I'm sure there was some lag as new developments propagated
> around Europe, but we're talking decades not centuries.
> RAS_______________________________________________
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