Church – Tower and Bells

The tower is a substantial but simple structure. It rises in two stages only and is supported by small buttresses which are carried up in four graduations. The summit is ornamented with a neat open parapet and pinnacles, and on the North East side is a turret terminating at the top in a spire. It was rebuilt early in the 18th century probably in 1707 which is the date scratched deeply in near the base. The old tower must have been one on which was displayed a quarter of the body of an unfortunate supporter of the Monmouth Rebellion, after being par-boiled and dipped in pitch as a warning to others. The tower contains five fine-toned bells cast by Bilbie of Chew Stoke in 1708. In 1508 the Great bell of Henton was mentioned in a will. In 1937 the tower was somewhat repaired and strengthened and the bells (which had not been rung for six years as the frame was badly decayed) restored with a new teak frame, all at a cost of £364, raised by the 159 parishioners. In 1979 the ground floor of the tower was converted into a vestry by building steps and a new raised floor for the ringing chamber. This work, which is beautifully edged in South American mahogany, was provided by the Gay family in memory of Mary Ann Gay who was called to rest on the 2nd November 1976.