Newdigate, St Peter
Practice Night: Tuesday
Ringing Times: Sunday Service: 9.30 - 10.00 am. Practice: 7.45-9.15pm
Entry: Entry is through the south door. The bells are rung from the ground floor of the tower, at the west end of the church.
Contact: Tower contact: Simon Everett (01306 711325); firstname.lastname@example.org
There has been a church on the site since 1200, when it was built in a clearing in the Wealden Forest, as a chapel beside the road to the important iron-working centre at Ewood. The oldest artefact in St. Peter’s is a chest with three locks made of a single piece of oak, used for keeping parish records in the 13th century. The church’s most unusual feature is the 60ft. tower, built entirely of oak and added at the end of the 16th century. The only similar one in Surrey is at Burstow. In 1985 the spire was re-tiled with 1500 shingles cut from local oak trees by two local brothers who were taught this dying art by an elderly craftsman from Leicestershire. In 1969, the Whitechapel Foundry re-cast the ring of 6, made in 1803 by Thomas Mears, and re-hung them with mainly new fittings in the original framework.