The 12th century church of St Mary’s is situated in the very centre of the village and has, over many centuries, played a central and pivotal role in village life. The church has stood on the same site since 1186 and has witnessed many changes during its long 900-year history. The building is substantially 12th century, with later additions and alterations which were made in the 16th, 17th and 19th centuries.

The attractive hammered beamed ceiling, interesting 13th century lancet windows and 12th century doorways enhance the beautiful interior. There is a rare 13th century painting of ‘Our Lady’, preserved under a glass panel and an unusual 13th century stone carving depicting a mounted knight in full armor, carrying a lancet and shield.

 St Marys Church


 Everybody is welcome to visit the church with its spectacular graveyard and enjoy the woods, walks, and other local attractions.

The Village Community Shop and Cafe are next to the Church and the White Hart just across the road.

Simply put RG18 0TD into your SatNav.

If you have any questions, or would like to submit local bell information please E-MAIL us.

Would you like to have a taster session ringing the bells, or join our local band, then please send your details to us HERE



The Tower and Tower Bells 

During the 16th century the Bell Tower was added to the west-side of the church building. It is a stone and flint construction covered with a lime wash with a rectangular stair turret under a stone and flint ’embattled’ parapet. In the north face of the bell chamber is a two trefoiled windows with a four-centered head. Set into the west wall is the original four-centered arched doorway, with a three-light window and the original old, planked door with plain iron hinge.

Tower 2

St. Mary’s Church has a ring of six bells, dating from 1619 which are still hung on their original oak frame, made by James Smith in 1680. It is now quite rare to find bells mounted on their original oak frame due to many frames being replaced in recent years with steel fabrications. The positioning of the bell frame, which lies diagonally across the tower, is very unusual and this, together with the age of the frame, makes this bell installation extremely important and of the highest conservation priority.



 Details of the Six Bells








4¼ cwt (215kg) 

Samuel Knight 


Samvell Knight Made Mee The Leder Of This Ring To Bee 1703

4 ¾ cwt (241kg) 

Henry Knight 



5 ½ cwt (279kg) 

Ellis Knight 



7 cwt     (355kg) 

Samuel Knight 


Samuel Knight made me 1074 *

8 cwt     (405kg) 

John Taylor 



Fear God © honour © theking © ts © gd © cw : sk 1685 / (T.) / recast 1930 / Eustace e. palmer / patron. **


10 cwt   (510kg) 

Henry & Ellis Knight 





                *     Only bell inscribed in lower case and note misspelling of the date which should have
                        been 1704 


             **   Recast in 1930 by John Taylor & Co from the metal from the original bell made by
                    Knights of Reading  in 1680


The bells were all cast locally at the ‘Knights Bell Foundry’  in Reading. However, bell No. 5 was recast in 1934 by John Taylor’s of Loughborough, due to the development of a severe crack in its casing. All the bells are interestingly inscribed with the year and name of the member of the Knight family who cast the bell as well as a short verse etched in old English with the appropriate variance in spelling.



    Annual Bell Surveys


The bells are inspected annually to ensure that their operational fixings are in good safe working order. The bell frame is also checked to ensure that there are no problems with its structure and strength.

Until their closure in 2017 Whitechapel Bell Foundry carried out the annual inspections and repairs to the bells at St Mary’s. In 2016 a report stated that the condition of the bells was so poor and precarious that it would be inadvisable for them to continue to be rung until extensive repairs and restoration work had been carried out.   The bells fell silent but in 2019 a major restoration project was launched called the "The Silent Knights Project" in recognition of the bells founders -The Knights Family.


The bell restoration was completed by the bell foundry, J Taylor & Co, in 2020 and the bells are back in full use. Their first major ring was to celebrate Easter 2021 and the start of moving out of Covid restrictions. The Tenor bell was tolled shortly afterwards on Friday 9th April in remembrance of HRH THe Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.


The bells continue to be inspected annually by J. Taylor & Co