The Bell-ringers practice at 7:45pm on Thursday nights. Visiting ringers are welcome, as are beginners who might wish to join them.
Please do make contact, either by email, or using Brian and Helen Legood’s phone number (01629 57358)
There is some information on the bells here.
Also, one of our bellringers, James Bishop, has supplied the following information:
There are nine bells in our tower, with a tenor of 14 cwt. All of the main ring of eight were recast by Mears and Stainbank in 1904, and hung in an iron and steel frame on two levels. One old bell from the previous six was kept, the 10 cwt pre-Reformation Heathcote bell. This was the old 5th. This was hung for circle ringing but has a broken slider, so is normally just chimed for services when normal ringing isn’t taking place. The tenor, although not able to be photographed, has a nice inscription worth mentioning – “I unto those that liveth well do toll their welcome passing bell.”
Old 5th Heathcote Bell
This is a view of the pre-Reformation bell. It’s quite a sizeable bell, and has nice big canons on the top (the metal loops at the head of the bell). The Latin inscription reads “Holy Mary Pray for Us” and there is a fylfot mark. This bell is believed to have been cast by Ralph Heathcote of Chesterfield before 1502.
This is the 4th bell, which sits with the 5th and Heathcote bell on the top level of the frame. It is tuned to C and weighs 6-3-22. It was originally cast in 1791 by George Hedderly but recast with the other seven in 1904. The arrangement of wheel, rope, headstock and stay (the big vertical wooden bar on the left) can be seen quite clearly in this view.
4th, 5th and 9th Headstocks
This is a view across the top of the bell frame. The 4th, 5th and Heathcote bells can be seen together with their wheels and stays. The 5th bell weighs around 7 cwt and is tuned to B flat. It was originally cast by Lester and Peck in 1767 and formed the third of the old ring of six. Here, it can be seen that the bells are in their down or “safe” position with the mouths pointing downwards. To ring the bells normally it would be necessary to swing them back and forth until they rested in the “up” position, when they would be resting inverted with the mouths pointing upwards. It is extremely dangerous to enter the bell chamber when the bells are in this position – they can be very easily knocked off balance and swing around violently, causing someone serious or fatal injury.
5th Bell Close up
This is a view of the 6th bell. It is harder to reach and photograph as it sits with the remaining bells on the lower level of the frame. It weighs 8-2-4, has the note of A and was originally cast in 1626. The inscription reads “JESU BE OUR SPEED.” It was recast in 1904 in memory of Ann Hopkinson.