[Bell Historians] Re: [r-c] Wrangle

David Bryant djb122 at y...
Tue Jul 2 10:03:48 BST 2002

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Dickon wrote:

> There is a frame at Davington Priory in Kent dated 1856, for 3 bells. Thi=
s was at one point considered the earliest metal=20
> frame after Liverpool, but I am not sure who by. Anyway, in the light of =
this discussion, this info will need updating on=20
> Church Bells of Kent. The Davington frame was made by Taylors ... perhaps=
this is their oldest known metal frame?

Nope - it ain't. The frame for the two great exhibition bells (now 3/10 and=
10/10 at Scarborough) had cast iron sides. I'm not sure about the frame fo=
r the other bells, but the frame was hacked about and the top tier (contain=
ing 3/10) was removed by Gilletts in the 50s. We have some pictures of the =
work in progress in the YMSCR scrap books - I'll have a look this evening i=
f I remember. Incidentally, Jennings' bell fittings book states that at lea=
st one of the exhibition bells was cast with a flat top and had a cast iron=
stock. We've got a picture of the tenor being lowered, and it clearly has =
canons (removed by G&J, I believe). Don't know about the 3rd, but it seems =
more likely that if either was cast without canons it would be the big one,=
as was common Taylor practice in the later C19.

A complete early cast iron Taylor frame is at Kingweston, Somerset, and dat=
es from 1854. The five bells (which are tonally very good) are of the same =
date, although the fittings have been replaced. The frame is of two tiers, =
with 3,4,5 below with 'H' castings and the trebles above in high-sides 'A' =
frames. The A frames have iron tie bars across the top, but the foundations=
to both tiers and the top ties to the lower frame (which are the foundatio=
n of the upper frame) are of oak. The castings have a rebate in the centre =
of their crossbar for a plain bearing brass, and are different from later T=
aylor A and H castings in that they have curved braces supporting the cross=
bar - sketches of them are given in Chris' bellframes book.

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