Heathcote bell

fartwell2000 alanjbirney at Dk_8jTOtvf81-JhNLepFQ4cfor5ta7kXS6XeERmFT7xsGzD3CDuxTArA6K_ni95eFmGKF503gBenLveRj4RMuouGjA.yahoo.invalid
Fri Mar 25 09:41:39 GMT 2011

Just wondering if anyone can have a fairly accurate guess at the weight of a George Heathcote bell of 40.5" diamter?

It was a discovery made last year by John Greenhough and I. The bell has canons, has not been machine tuned or drilled and retains it's cast in crown staple. Its hung for ringing but unringable. There is also a "drop hammer" fitted. Access to the bell is not possible, special permission was granted to go up, and you would not even know there was a bell there-no rope holes.

The bell is in a Catholic Church in Clitheroe, in the roofspace above the Priest's bathroom. Several times, the previous Priest had told me there was a bell up there that was bigger than the trap door, but never granted access to view.

There is no record of the bell in the Church history books, and I'd always poo-pood the idea of a large bell being up there--just shows there are undiscovered gems, in places that you may never imagine.

John G and I certainly got a shock when we lifted the trap-we were expecting a brass founders bell or something small by Mears or Warner.

The bell really does fill the place it is in-the roof appears to have been built after the bell was put in place. The rope would fall down a boxed in channel at the side of the toilet, and the toilet is beneath the trap, which is 18 inches (or so) square.

After cleaning up the mess in the bathroom (made when accessing the bell), the trapdoor was sealed shut, and its fairly unlikely that access may be given again, without good cause. There is a fleche on the part of the roof that houses the bell, but the bell, the bell and frame fill the space up.

I wouldn't like to be sat on the "throne" with that bell going full circle about 8ft above my head-I bet there would be some creaking and groaning going on from the frame and foundations, even through the frame is tie rodded. We didn't swing the bell at all-the stock is badly split.



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