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St. Mary, Souldern, Oxon
Bicester branch of the ODG
St. Mary, Souldern
St. Mary, Souldern
Dedication:St. Mary, Souldern

Service Ringing: - Please check the Bicester web site for up to minute news of services and times

The Bells (6) 7-3-6

Access to ringing chamber: - Spiral staircase

The following information comes from the Bicester branch website

A western tower containing a ring of six bells; tenor 36 inches in diameter, in G; and a Sanctus bell, 14 inches in diameter.

The treble and second were cast in 1907 at the Whitechapel foundry where also the fourth was recast three years later. The third, fifth and tenor were cast by Henry Bagley I: the two largest were the first to be cast at the famous Chacombe foundry.

All the bells retain their canons; the seventeenth century ones have been quarter-turned. They are fitted with gear, type B and hang in an oak frame installed by F White in 1907. A false crown staple is fitted to the third.The saunce is hung for chiming. It was cast by Henry Bagley I and inscribed: HB 1665.

The former fourth was by John Saunders, of Reading, circa 1550. It was cracked through the clapper being allowed to wear a deep hollow in its sound-bow; and the writer was told by Mr Richard White that he had never seen a bell so deeply indented by the action of the clapper as this one. It was quarter-turned in 1907 but this precaution was carried out too late to save it.

The treble and second were added to the ring in 1907. A tablet on the west wall of the tower is inscribed: "To the Glory of GOD, and in perpetual remembrance of my beloved husband and my only Child, the four Ancient Bells were restored and two were added, A.D. 1907, by Anne Penrose Gough".

In 1997 the bells were re-hung with modern fittings and a false ceiling was installed above the ringing chamber. The bell-hanger’s work was carried out by Mr Brian White of Whites of Appleton Ltd, great grandson of Frederick White who had done the work in 1907 to 1910.

Through the help of the Central Council of Church Bellringers, a 50% grant towards the cost was obtained from the Millennium Commission to "RING IN THE MILLENNIUM".

Grants were also obtained from the Bell Fund of the Oxford Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers and the Bicester Branch of the Guild, thanks to Richard Stevens of the Bicester Branch whose expertise, enthusiasm and patience have ensured the continuing sound of bells in Souldern.

A ring of 6; tenor 8-0-0#, diameter 36" in key of G The tenor weight was measured by Whites of Appleton on 23 Feb 2004 at 7-3-6
Bell Weight
Founder Foundry
treble 3-1-24 1907 Mears &
A.D. 1907
2 3-3-13 1907 Mears &
A.D. 1907
3 4-1-0# 1635 Henry
Bagley I
Chacombe [Cable moulding all round bell]
[Cable moulding all round bell]
4 4-2-27 1910 Mears &
Whitechapel Sant [E13] ta [E13] an [E13] na [Shield E14]
RECAST A.D. 1910
[Whitechapel foundry mark]
5 6-0-0# 1631 Henry
Bagley I
Chacombe I • CVM • VOCE • ICVNDISSIMA • PRESEQVOR [U4] HB 1631 [U4]
[Border of B10 and R13]
tenor 8-0-0# 1631 Henry
Bagley I
Chacombe VOBISCVM • CO(N)C(O)RDO • DEVM • LAVDARE [U4] HENRY BAGLE [U4] 1631 [B10]
  1. The weights in the table are those before the retuning in 1997.
  2. The inscription on the fourth is in Gothic lettering.
Travel Details: OS Grid Ref: SP523317 - From junction 10 of the M40 travel north on the A43 towards Northampton for approx. ¼ mile. At large roundabout with petrol station turn left onto B4100 towards Banbury. After approx 1 mile turn left into Souldern village. When you reach the small village pond turn right and the church is at the end of the lane. (NB. Restricted parking in the lane)

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