[Bell Historians] medieval bell pit

Chris Pickford c.j.pickford.t21 at YVtZbjcNjausbL2XREHpBq73wVM0ahC2CJogYXnabV9DZWFJZvuYMYPa7qqyCBLktjDvy4NI9U9xaUrMZNm6OL95taJJOA.yahoo.invalid
Tue Jan 19 19:33:42 GMT 2010

I've been in touch with the Cambridgeshire Archaeology people who, although not involved themselves, have contacted Tim Reynolds, the Diocesan Archaeologist, who has visited Easton. The current entry for the church on the Cambs HER is at:

and (provisionally) this is what will be added: 

"A small brick-lined feature in the base of the tower floor was uncovered during renovations at St Peter's Church, Easton in 2010. It was backfilled with clean earth with some ash but lower layers in it had rubble, metal working waste and a few late C18th sherds. It may possibly have been a bell working pit. A sample of the metal waste was removed for analysis. The feature will be left in situ and covered with geotextile before a new floor is laid above it. "

In other words the interpretation is still very much open to clarification.  Since their initial reply, the HER officer has sent this further comment:

"... our expert in church archaeology believes it to be more likely a small lead working pit for sundry fixings (fixing objects to stonework) rather than a bell pit which I must confess I queried when I saw the video on the BBC. He too thinks that the pit is too small even for a treble bell and charcoal would have been insufficient to reach the necessary heat for bell casting." 

They've promised to let me know th results of the metal analysis. In the meantime I've summarised for them the points made so far in our discussions

On casting in churches, there seem to be quite a few documented instances. To those mentioned I can add South Littleton (Worcs)

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