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SS. Peter & Paul, Appleford, Oxon
Old North Berks branch of the ODG
SS. Peter & Paul, Appleford tower
SS. Peter & Paul, ApplefordęKMC 28 Nov 2003
Dedication: SS. Peter & Paul, Appleford

Tower Correspondent: Contact the Vicar of Sutton Courtenay Tel: 01235 531374

Availability and Restrictions: Ringing by arrangement

The Bells (6) 8-0-0#

Access to ringing chamber:: External door in base of tower leads to a spiral staircase with 26 steps

The following information comes from F. Sharpe The Church Bells of Berkshire.He visited the tower in 1939.

Frame: oak, John Warner & Sons 1886. Gear: 1886.

A ring of 6, tenor 8-0-0#, diameter 36¼”, tuned to A
Bell Weight
Founder Foundry
Treble 3-3-0# F# 1886 John Warner & Sons London CAST BY JOHN WARNER & SONS LONDON 1886
2 4-1-0# E 1886 John Warner & Sons London CAST BY JOHN WARNER & SONS LONDON 1886
3 4-3-0# D 1886 John Warner & Sons London RECAST BY JOHN WARNER & SONS LONDON 1886.
4 5-0-0# C# 1350# Wokingham foundry Wokingham [Lion’s head F2] [Trefoil F5] [Coin]
5 6-3-0# B 1450# Wokingham foundry Wokingham [Crowned cross F4] Sancte Gabriel Ora Pro Nobis [Coin] [F2]
Tenor 8-0-0# A 1886 John Warner & Sons London CAST BY JOHN WARNER & SONS LONDON 1886
  1. Prior to 1886 there was a ring of 3 bells; the old tenor is now the 5th.
  2. In 1885 Mr Walter Justice of London had the tower rebuilt, added a spire and installed 3 extra bells, the present treble, second and tenor, cast by John Warner and sons of Cripplegate, London.
  3. The inscription on the former treble was inaccurately copied when it was recast to become the current 3rd. It should read:
  4. the Text on the 5th is gothic with crowns over the capital letters.

The name is thought to be derived from the nearby ford across the Thames, one of the few places south of Oxford where the river can be crossed on foot.

Fruit from orchards in Hagbourne and Harwell in Berkshire were caried over the ford to the Oxfordshire markets. In 1954 Arthur Napper owner of Bridge Farm dug up a hoard of several thousand Roman coins later dated to the period 320 - 350 A.D. King Alfred granted the village a charter in about 900 A.D.

The infamous highwayman, Dick Turpin, allegedly made his headquarters in Manor Farm, Church Street, when 'working' London - Oxford Road. The ford offered easy access for himself and his booty from the Oxfordshire side of the river to his hideaway in Berkshire. He ate his meals at an oak table belonging to the Pullen family, who farmed the land until the death of Harry Pullen in 1939. When his widow left the farm the contents were auctioned and the table sold for 100 guineas.

Further details can be found in; Appleford a Berkshire Villageby Vera Reynolds pub.1996 by Barnworks Publishing. ISBN: 1-899174-03-6

The Ringing Chamber

Wall inscription
SS. Peter & Paul, Appleford ęKMC 14 Jul 2004
Cut into the stone of the side of one window is an unusual record of some ringing of 1889, thought to be the first of that length following the restoration of 1886. The tower captain at that time was E. Pullen, the farmer who lived in the Manor Farm house which can be seen through the window of the ringing chamber where the record is carved on the side.

The transcription is:

Oct 27 1889
Grandsire Minor
1. F. Clifton     720
2. L. Herbert
3. C. Bennett
4. W. Reynolds
5. D.Brown. Conductor
6. E.Pullen Captain
    }     720     {
    } Changes {
Points of interest in church: A 'peal board' carved into the stone in the ringing chamber recording 720 changes of Grandsire Minor rung in 1889 following the restoration of 1886.

Travel Details: OS Grid Ref: SU531937. Park on strip of waste land outside church.

Eating Places: pub “The Carpenter's Arms”

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