[Bell Historians] Re: Symbols on 1718 bell at Clent

Philip Denton philip_denton at 0QNGzpFN6LhKa8snePAPmDvZychuf22bcSPsWSXDFWmHnQSJsnipRGzUgJp-n9YAbya7Ip-naRZEOPPDYEFmIQ.yahoo.invalid
Fri May 11 14:14:48 BST 2007

I don't know about signs of the zodiac on church bells, but they certainly aren't uncommon in early church art generally, in this country and elsewhere. There are several Norman examples in England: the carvings on a fine doorway at St. Margaret's, York (now redundant) and a rare lead font at Brookland, Kent come to mind, but there are plenty of other examples. I think the sequence of symbols was used to recall the cycle of the year.

Chris Pickford <c.j.pickford.t21 at qSvVzxpYuo9whmW5GdVGY41nADcNOUtdein6-JnhRAH7yMT8ZfzcowNWooxEvzXQnw3Wcj0xiYqgJhe8Gv9xJB16C8FnaDEshw.yahoo.invalid> wrote:
            Thanks for suggestions on this. I'd thought of Freemasonry, but (until it was suggested here) I'd missed the obvious one - Astrology. Really should have spotted it, since my late mother studied astrology in some depth and became quite an expert. No jokes about my ancestry, please!
  Basically, it seems that the symbols are as follows:
      (Sagittarius) (Sextile - meaning two objects 60 degrees apart) : (Sagittarius) (Libra) : (Opposition - meaning two objects on opposite sides) (Gemini) : (Scorpio) (Gemini)
  But that only identifies the symbols, not the meaning or significance of it all.  It seems possible that these are the signs of the zodiac for four couples - but there are only three names in the main inscription.
  Any further ideas - or suggestions of people to ask (do we know any ringing astrologers?) - would be welcome
  Strange to find this on a church bell - especially since in the course of some web delving I found a recent report of a vicar banning a lecture on astrology in his church hall because astrology is in conflict with the Christian view of the universe


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