[Bell Historians] Re: Heavy old bells

Anne Willis zen16073 at WHERM3jfJMKGAiHy_0Znxxgm-ds0Xa7dDv1WrETFdwdp3NTqH7m0DEHKGFHI3PHRN8V4PwIniNlwsw.yahoo.invalid
Tue Oct 11 11:47:39 BST 2011




>Brian Meldon
>How accurate the weight information is, or who cast these bells I do not
know, but here at Canewdon the 1552 list of church goods details three tower
bells as follows:

>`... thre bells in the steple wherof the gret bell conteyneth in weightby
estymac'on xxxti hundrethe, the seconde bell xxti hundredth, And the litell
bell xvjten hundrethe, one sanse bell coteynynge xxtepounds, ij hand bells
>conteynynge xvj pounds...' 


How nice to have such information in your 1552 returns.  The Wiltshire ones
are much less informative, mostly with just the number of bells.  There's
the occasional comment on Sanctus bells and one or two comments such as
Atworth 'four great bells'.

We have quite a lot of heavy tenors in Wiltshire, most of which are post
17th century, but given their weight one would imagine that their
predecessors were around, or even more, than the same weight.  Bradford on
Avon and Westbury are but two examples.  John Aubrey commented on the weight
of Westbury tenor, and leaves an unfilled gap for the actual weight!

There was an article some time ago in The Ringing World about the
distribution of bells in the Edward VI survey, I think in Surrey, and the
author wondered whether the presence of an Abbey had any influence on the
number of bells in its vicinity.  I went through the Wiltshire 1553 returns
(I got a copy from the PRO) and found there was a concentration of five bell
towers in the industrial areas (West of England cloth production) of West
Wiltshire, Salisbury and Marlborough.  Has anyone else found any correlation
between industry or abbeys and bell numbers?


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