Kirkoswald, Cumbria

Mike Chester mike at m...
Mon Aug 2 14:26:55 BST 2004


There appears to have been at Kirkoswald, during the first quarter of 
the 18th century, a foundry for the casting of church bells. It was 
carried on by one Aaron Peever, whose name occurs thus on the tenor 
bell in the church:-

treble bell has evidently been cast by him also. Another bell of much 
older date is inscribed thus:- WILLIAM LAND MADE ME 1619 W.B.

On the lip of the bell are three old silver coins, much worn, which 
have clearly been put in the mould before casting. Kirkoswald was, 
from its position on the borders of the Debatable Land, liable to the 
unwelcome visits of the marauding Scots; and, accordingly, we find 
from the Chronicle of Lanercost, that the town was burned by Bruce, 
in 1314. In 1597 and 1598, it was visited by the plague, which 
traversed the north of England, and made its way from Newcastle to 
Kirkoswald and Penrith, and thence to Appleby and Kendal. We read 
that in the first year of the visitation forty-two persons died, and 
in the year following no less than 583, a mortality which must have 
almost depopulated the parish. Only fifty-one deaths are recorded in 
the church register.

The implication is therefore that there are 3 bells, but I no not 
what there "ringability" is.

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