[Bell Historians] Sanctus and Angelus bells

David Cawley dcawley at w...
Fri Aug 13 20:17:22 BST 2004

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It may be getting away from Sanctus and Angelus to 'local uses' but JRK's a=
ccount of the ringing at Lincoln reminds me very much of the chiming at We=
stminster Abbey when the 'old eight' were there (together with the 3-cwt 'S=
aints' bell, which still is, high behind the south louvres):

7.45-8.00 weekdays: Saints Bell
7.45-8.00 Sundays and at any time when there was a Celebration at the High =
Altar or in the St Edward's Shrine Chapel: 5th (10 minutes), then treble (5=

9.00 weekdays (term time) Saints Bell

12 noon (Ringing Days): The eight bells rung

Evensong chiming:
4.30 - 4.35: 6th and 7th ding-dong
4.35 (if there is a Sermon): 40 blows on tenor
4.45 - 4.55: 5th (slowly)
4.55 - 5.00: treble

The five bells affected (1,5,6,7 & 8) had chiming ropes attached to Ellacom=
be hammers. They were drawn to the centre of the belfry then down through t=
he central hatches of the clock room, ringing chamber, flag store and then =
to the ground, falling behind the very large monument, by which the vergers=
sat to officiate. The ropes were simple free-hanging chime cords with a wo=
od toggle on saying which was which. The holes are still visible in the woo=
den circular trap. The rope of the Saints bell was and is a proper one with=
a red salley and a tail end; it falls through the various floors in the SW=
corner - near the ringing room door. This must qualify as one of the longe=
st bell ropes in the world. I gather that the bell is never used now: a pit=
y, as it was one of the "sounds of Westminster".

In 1971, the old Robert Mot 5th & 7th were left up top but hung dead with e=
lectro-magnetic clappers. These two now do the (ultra-slow) ding-dong, but =
it is longer than 5 minutes. After a while it just becomes the dong. Then t=
he ding. Sermon bells, Saints bell are possibly just memories.

The 1971 bells are a superb ring; but I miss the old eight (which even rock=
ed the south tower!) - four Mears trebles of 1919, then two 18thC and two 1=
6thC - which made an "impressive" sound as they shouted over the Westminste=
r rooftops - and you could hear them above the traffic.

Canterbury used to chime the middle six for Evensong, as do (?did) St Paul'=
s, on an Ellacombe until WWII; the thing was still there until the 1980 res=
toration, and still worked - I remember chiming for the surprise visit of t=
he Oecumenical Patriarch forty years ago. Latterly they used Bell Harry as =
a service and curfew bell, but now Great Dunstan grandly fulfills the forme=
r role.

No doubt other Cathedrals, especially those with extra bells, have their ow=
n uses. Howard, what do they do with those three grand old bells at Newcast=
le ?


----- Original Message -----=20
From: John Ketteringham=20
To: Bellhistorians at Yahoogroups.Com=20
Sent: Friday, August 13, 2004 4:19 PM
Subject: [Bell Historians] Sanctus and Angelus bells

To get back to the original subject perhaps the way in which the two bell=
s in the North West tower of Lincoln Cathedral are rung for the daily servi=
ces may be of interest :

7.15 am the largest bell is rung 20 times
9 am the largest bell 81 times=20
12 noon the largest bell is rung for the Angelus 3 x 3 x 3 x 9
3 pm the largest bell is rung 41 times

For the Curfew the smallest bell is rung 101 times less a number equivale=
nt to the date of the month and then the balance on the larger bell. i.e. =
on the 20th day of the month the smallest bell is rung 81 times and then th=
e largest 20 times!

A bell at Holbeach dated 1915 is hung in a bell cote between the Nave and=
Chancel so it was clearly intended to be sounded at the Elevation during C=

At Halton Holegate when Henry Penn cast the ring (of 5 I think) he cast a=
smaller bell which I have recorded as a Sanctu

In the 2000 edition of Lincoln Cathedral : A History of the Bells etc I h=
ave reproduced the elaborate pre-Reformation rules for ringing at Lincoln C=

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