INTRO. CHRONICLES. SOCIETIES. PARISH. VILLAGE. CHURCH. PEOPLE.

A History of YALDING, Kent, England

CHURCH TOWER.
TOWER DOOR. This door leads to a spiral staircase which climbs up the tower, to the belfry and clock-room, and comes out onto a flat roof on the top.
The door has very unusual ornate semi-circular hinges with bird heads at each end.
CLOCK. Outside, above the oak studded west door is what is thought to be a saxon window that is the oldest of the church, and above this is our church clock. This village time-piece, which originally only had one hand. was installed in 1728, and bears the name of William Gill, Maidstone, although the churchwarden`s records say "Paid to William Gilpin for new clock and one small dial, £ 25 ".
The dial was painted in 1763 and again in 1783. both at a cost of £ 3.3s.
It had been often repaired over this period, but on 25th October 1880, the Maidstone Journal reported, " We hear the church clock is shortly to be repaired and a minute hand added and the face painted and freshly lettered. A Ward Esq. of The Elms has kindly offered to provide the funds ".
It was again repaired and overhauled in 1960 at a cost of £ 250.
The clock used the tenor bell to chime the hour.
The original clock mechanism as installed in 1728 measured at least a two meter cube, but was moved from its central position when the bells were lowered, so the William Gill name cannot be seen so easily.
On the top of the tower a cupola covers the exit from the tower stairs.
This has a pointed minaret roof with a ball or "Elizabethan Onion" supporting a weather vane. When it was declared dangerous and renewed about 1967, the removed onion was placed on a table and can be seen on the ground floor. The onion like the cupola is lead covered, which was renewed when the tower was refurbished in 2000/2.
The lead-work was completed as part of the tower refurbishment, which earned an Ornamental Lead-work award for a local craftsman.
These pictures show the rework scaffolding.