[Bell Historians] Ringers' rules

David Bryant davidbryant at h...
Thu Mar 24 15:40:02 GMT 2005

>The earliest set of bells in a church hung only for chiming - by machine in 
>this case - that I know of is Stapleford in Leics (1785). Any advances?

I wonder whether the same was true in urban areas, and if so whether the 
practice of ringing smaller numbers of bells full-circle declined in town or 
country first.

In the case of York's threes, it is pretty certain from their condition that 
none of them have been rung for at least a century.

Two of the churches had interesting (if rather crude) mid-Victorian chiming 
machines installed. These consisted of a rod with three cranks, and a rope 
from each crank was attached to the clapper of a bell, allowing the three to 
be clocked in rounds. One machine had a handle on the end, the other a large 
cast iron wheel with curved spokes. In the case of one of the threes with 
this machine, the tower was rebuilt in the 1840s and it is pretty certain 
that the bells haven't been rung since then. The frame is extremely poorly 
made and very weak. Nearly all the timbers are reused. It wouldn't be 
capable of withstanding full-circle ringing. The bells have some (although 
not all) of their ringing fittings, and these have every appearance of 
having been transferred, with the bells, into the new tower.


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