Project Day-by-Day

Photographs of Project Work can be found in Photo Gallery


15 November 2016

A contractor has been digging a trench and soakaway to take the rainwater which is now being piped down from the roof.  Although this was not a recognised area for burials, an archeologist was on hand to recover any bone fragments so that they could be re-interred elsewhere in the churchyard.

9 October 2016

The Right Reverend Nick McKinnel, Bishop of Plymouth came to St Peter's this afternoon to rededicate the rehung bells.  In a symbolic ceremony, Alan Hughes presented a bell rope to the Bishop, who passed it on to Rev Alison Shaw, Rector of St Peter's, who in turn gave it to Churchwarden and Tower Captain, John Dietz. 


The local bell ringers rang the bells before the service, and there was open ringing for visiting ringers as well as the home team afterwards.  It was estimated that over 100 people attended the service.  Excellent teas with delicious cakes were provided after the service by a hard-working team from the Mothers' Union.  

7 September 2016

Clock is now fully installed.  The face as been re-hung on the tower looking splendid after its repainting.  The chimes and strike are also working to let the village know about the passage of time. 


See Gallery for photographs.

26 August 2016

Cumbria Clock Co have now reinstalled the clock in the tower and set it to work, complete with its electric auto-winding system.  Unfortunately, unforeseen delays mean that the face and striking mechanism will not be operational until w/c 5 September.

16 August 2016

Re-hanging of bells now complete.  Our bell-hanger Neil from Whitechapel Bell Foundry has completed his work for us and departed.

12 August 2016

The last few pieces in the jigsaw are coming together.  The home team have made 2 new rope chutes, repaired the old ones and fitted them.  The new ropes have been attached to the wheels and adjusted for length and the bells are ready for ringing.  The Ellacombe chimes still need to be connected, after which all we need is the clock (which is scheduled to return on Monday 22 August), a bit of decorating and a good clean up.

4 August 2016

After a busy week's work the frame has been installed, all 8 bells hung and most of the wheels fitted.  Nothing is left on the ground floor of the church - all the "bits" are in the belfry in various stages of completion.  Next week will be setting up and adjustments, but we're almost there!  Thanks to Neil, Peter and Ian from Whitechapel Bell Foundry for their hard work.

1 August 2016

The bells came back today! The lorry arrived about 4:30 and the bellhangers from Whitechapel Bell Foundry and our volunteers spent a very wet hour and a half unloading it in the pouring rain. Tonight the bells, frame and fittings are all on the ground floor of the church waiting for installation to start tomorrow.  See Gallery for more pictures

30 July 2016

The volunteers have fitted "Galebreaker" to cover the inside of the louvres in the belfry.  This should help to keep out the damp, while still allowing air to circulate.  Advertised for farm buildings as "Good weather protection and ventilation for farm livestock buildings is essential to maintain a healthy environment for livestock" - it should be perfect for our new bells and frame.

26 July 2016

While preparing the ringing chamber for re-decoration, Elliotts removed a small asbestos panel on the east wall, and found a deep recess and a blocked up window.  It is thought that this window was blocked during the church restoration in 1871-2 when the main roof was replaced.  From the outside, evidence of a red sandstone window surround is visible behind the ridge of the roof.

13 July 2016

Elliott Construction have now completed the installation of new floorboards in the belfry.  These are resting on the bottom flanges of the foundation girders and can be removed to allow the bells to be hoisted into the new frame when it arrives.  The photograph also shows some of the pulley blocks on the girders; these will guide the bell ropes down to the ringing chamber.

13 June 2016

The new bell-frame has now been erected at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry workshop.  Our 6 old bells have been fitted so that the craftsmen can make sure that everything fits together correctly before it is dismantled and moved to Stoke Fleming.  This structure will rest on top of the foundation girders installed this week.  A grant for the new bell-frame has been given by Viridor Credits from the Landfill Communities Fund.

15 June 2016

The foundation girders for the new bell-frame arrived this week, and  bellhangers, Neil and Peter from Whitechapel Bell Foundry, have completed installing them on the concrete ring beam, assisted by local volunteers from the bellringing team.  For more photos see Gallery.

12 May 2016

Elliott Construction have now completed the construction of the concrete ring beam in the bell chamber.  This will provide support for the foundation girders of the new bell-frame, and also help to strengthen the tower structure.

6 May 2016

We heard today that we have been awarded a grant of £18,000 by Viridor Credits from the Landfill Communities Fund for the cost of the new bell-frame.  This means we have reached our target to complete the project

18 March 2016

The bells were loaded and driven away on a 20 ton lorry.  They were taken to Whitechapel Bell Foundry where they will be overhauled and tuned and a new frame will be built to house them when they return towards the end of July

15 March 2016

Neil from Whitechapel Bell Foundry came to start removing the bells and bellframe, with help from John, Peter and Richard.  At the end of the day the tenor, 5th, treble and 2nd bells were on the ground floor of the church; three of them in the aisle but the tenor was still in the Choir Vestry waiting for the partition to be removed to allow it to be brought out.


Click here for more pictures of the bell removal.

11 March 2016

At the end of another week.  Elliott Construction have removed all the old, corroded roof girders and installed 3 new galvanised ones.  Note the beetle damage in the original (13th century?) oak beams.


The bell-hangers will use these to lower the bells down through the tower.

10 March 2016

Information board erected at the church gates by volunteers, to explain to passers-by what is going on. 

4 March 2016

This week the scaffolders have erected scaffolding right up to the roof, and supported the original oak roof beams in preparation for removing and replacing the corroded steel ones.  See Gallery for pictures.

Meanwhile a candle holder, perhaps" Victorian, was found in the clock chamber.  Was this the one our "Lightning Man" dropped when he fell down his ladder?  Click here for details of this story.

25 February 2016

Good progress by Elliott Construction this week.  We now have a new Ringing Chamber floor, complete with trapdoor, and scaffolding up to the Ringing Chamber ceiling.  The top half of the redundant chimney has been removed, as has the clock weight-box.

17 February 2016

The builders have now cut trapdoors in the first 2 ceilings, and removed the bottom section of the clock weights chute and the old clock platform.  They found another "time capsule" under the ringing chamber floor.


Two previous bottles were found last year and were taken to Exeter Museum for assistance with opening.  Click here for more information.

12 February 2016

A group of Stoke Fleming Bellringers travelled to London to visit Whitechapel Bell Foundry to watch our two new bells being cast. They were generously sponsored by Johnson Matthey (International metallurgists) to commemorate their bi-centenary and in memory of founder Percival Norton Johnson who lived in Stoke Fleming and is buried in our church. These new bells will be added to our current 6 to make a peal of 8.


Some photographs of the visit can  be seen in the Gallery.


9 February 2016

Building work started in earnest today, with Elliott Construction.  There is now scaffolding in the choir vestry and the Tower Room.

8 February 2016

The "home team have removed the bell ropes, and the seating and some of the panelling from the ringing chamber.  Upstairs in the clock chamber they have also dismantled the rope chutes which guided the ropes from the bells to the ringing chamber.

18-19 January 2016

Dave, Arthur and Luke from Cumbria Clock Co came to remove the tower clock and take it to their premises in Crediton for safe-keeping while the rest of the project is going on.  While it is away it will be fully overhauled and converted to electric auto-winding.  The face will be repainted and re-gilded.  We expect to be ready for it to come back in about September when it will be chiming the hours and quarters once again.  For more pictures of the clock removal see Gallery

13 January 2016

The "home team" removed the wooden box housing the tower clock in preparation for the dismantling and removal of the clock on 18-19 January.

8 January 2016

A cheque for £7,000 was presented by Friends of St Peter's to pay the deposit for the work on the clock.  This is expected to start in mid-January when the clock will be taken away.  Its chimes will be silent from then until the end of the project in the Autumn.

28 December 2015

The electrician started work today to install improved lighting on the tower stairs and in the ringing, clock and bell chambers.  He is also upgrading the wiring to modern standards and providing a power supply for the clock electric auto-winding system.

17 December 2015

The paper copy of the Faculty permission from the diocese was received today, so work can now start as planned.  We expect the clock to be removed in late January, with building work starting in early February.  The clock and bells will be silent throughout the duration of the project, which is expected to be about 6 months.

11 December 2015

The first tranche of the grant from HLF has been received.  An order has been placed with Whitechapel Bell Foundry and a deposit paid.  They expect to start work on removing the bells and bell frame in April 2016.

27 November 2015

We have today received "Permission to Start" from the Heritage Lottery Fund which means that we will shortly receive the first installment of £19,900 of their grant.  We will be able to place orders once Faculty is received from the diocese, which should be very soon.

12 November 2015

The PCC have approved Contractors to do the work (builder, bell hanger and clock specialist) and as soon as we have the Faculty orders will be placed.  We expect work to start in early February.  The tower clock will be stopped and silent from late January until autumn next year while the work is going on.  The bells will be out of action for most of that time as well. 


Unfortunately, the builders' estimates have come in rather higher than expected, so we are still fundraising.  

10 November 2015

There has been considerable progress on the preparation for the Tower Renovation Project, and we hope it won’t be long before the work starts.  The Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) have approved the works and we are almost at the end of statutory period of public consultation.  Formal award of the Faculty (diocesan “planning permission”) will follow. 

28 July 2015

Funding Bid Success

We have been informed by the Heritage Lottery Fund that our application for a grant of £39,800 has been successful.  All we need now is a Faculty from the Diocese and then we can place orders for the work and agree a timetable with the contractors