[Bell Historians] Tower graffiti - Canterbury, Woburn, Imber

David Cawley dave at d...
Mon Jul 14 17:10:49 BST 2003

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This leads almost naturally to change-ringing graffiti, and opens the door =
also to the commonplace.

Of particular significance are the painted "changed" on the west wall of th=
e present ringing chamber of Canterbury Cathedral - it was also the ringing=
chamber until 1726 when the tower held the lighter of the Cathedral's two =
rings of six. When the old twelve were displaced by the present ring in 1=
981 considerable effort went in to conserving this part of the Cathedral's =
history, the changes being (apparently) part of 120 Plain Changes on five w=
ith the tenor covering.=20

Two poignant reminders of former ringing history. One of the "written on t=
he clock case" type was referred to by CJP in a letter to me twenty years a=
go, in the old tower at Woburn, Beds (not sure whether it's still there). =
The other is the 17thC example painted on the walls of the belfry at St Gil=
es, Imber, in the Salisbury Plain Battle Area. They are well documented an=
d illustrated in Change Ringing: The History of an English Art Pt I, pp 46-=
47; they are dated 1682. The last CCC Pastoral Measure Report on this chur=
ch found these to be in a rather fragile condition and underlined their imp=

Anyone ever tried ringing Plain Changes ? Not as easy as one might think.

----- Original Message -----=20
From: ian johnson=20
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com=20
Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2003 9:07 PM
Subject: [Bell Historians] Tower graffiti

The boot & shoe prints mentioned by several correspondants are most likel=
y to be plumbers marks on repair work etc. We have some here at Masham on t=
he spire floor lead .
A tradition here at Masham was to make your mark on the clock case doors,=
so much so that we were not allowed to get rid of them, they are now consi=
dered to be historic examples of tower graffiti.
Yours Ian J

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