17th Century Bell from St Catherine's

The many visitors to the historic little church of St. Catherine at East Tilbury, standing close to the River Thames, will be surprised to learn that the ancient massive bell cote adjacent to the bricked-up Norman doorway has recently been demolished.
Apparently the structure was deemed to be in a rather condition, especially when the weight of the large single bell was considered. This bell, made by William Oldfield in 1629 and bearing the inscription Soli Deo Gloria, was carefully taken down and is now preserved inside the church.
The tower that originally held the bell was destroyed by cannon shot from the Thames in 1667 when Tilbury was raided by the Dutch, and since that date a bellcote has been used for holding the bell, which had to be rung from outside the church.
From Country Life 1971 courtesy of Kevin Driver who notes that the bit about Dutch cannon fire bringing down the original tower is now known to be untrue, but great local folklore!.

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