History & Description of St Peters Church, Swingfield
apparent width of the imposing 55ft high tower is increased by
the corner buttresses and external stonework enclosing the spiral
stairs up to the Belfry and Beacon Turret. The Tower was used
throughout the centuries, including the second world war, as a
watch tower against the approach of invaders coming in from the
channel, and the turret would originally have been used as a signal
ring of three bells installed early in the reign of King Edward
V1th, was recast in 1696 by the John Wood foundry of Bishopsgate,
London, during the reign of William & Mary. These bells gave
rise to the name ‘The Three Bells’ for the Inn which
was until 2001 established in the premises opposite the Church.
Two of the bells were sold in 1796 by the vicar, Philip Papillon,
to ‘defray the cost of repairs to the nave‘. The sole
remaining bell is inscribed ‘John Richards, W’ (Church
Warden), ‘1696 by me JW’ (John Woods).