dating bells

David Bryant david at b...
Tue Sep 2 15:05:42 BST 2003

I'm currently writing up a book on the bells of York, and am using relevant
documentary sources in addition to inspection notes where relevant. At one
of the churches are two disused bells, which from their shape, moulding
wires, canons, etc are clearly a contemporary pair. However, all of the
documentary sources which mention them do not consider them a pair, as one
is inscribed in black-letter and one is not. Surely it is a mistake to date
bells solely by their inscriptions, and other factors must be taken into
account. I think this is proven by the bell at Exeter which I'vementioned a
couple of times recently - 1616 and inscribed in black letter. Presumably
if it wasn't for the fact that it is dated bodies such as the RCHME would
likely claim it as a fourteenth century bell. How many other bells which
haev an outdated type of lettering on them have been wrongly dated, I


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