The Bells of St Mary's Church, Abbotskerswell

The Bells at St Mary’s Abbotskerswell.      

 

The tower at St Mary’s Abbotskerswell dates from the fifteenth century. The Inventory of 1553 listed three bells. Today there are six, a further three having been added in 1924. These were given to the church in memory of Mrs Hare of Court Grange, by her daughters.

The original bells have been recast at various times – the treble (lightest) was cast by John Pennington of Exeter in 1664; the 2nd (present 5th) is by Thomas Pennington III of Exeter in 1705; and the 3rd (present tenor) is by Thomas Pennington II in 1637.  The three 1924 additions were added by Mears & Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London. During the installation the original treble bell was damaged and was recast at Whitechapel to become the present 4th  

The heaviest (and oldest) bells are housed in an oak frame with the lighter three housed in a cast-iron frame. Unusually all six bells swing in the same (north/south) direction.

 

 

   Diameter

   Weight

Note

   Founder

   Date cast

Bell No 1

   27 inches

   4.5 cwt

   E

Mears & Steinbank

   1924

Bell No 2

   30 inches

   6    cwt

   D

        “           “

   1924

Bell No 3

   31 inches

   6.5 cwt

   D flat

        “           “

   1924

Bell No 4

   32 inches

   7    cwt

   C

        “           “

   1664/1924

Bell No 5

   35 inches

   8.5 cwt

   B

  Pennington

   1705

Bell No 6

   38 inches

   10   cwt

   A

       “           “

   1637

 

The bells are rung regularly for the 10 o’clock service on Sundays and for special occasions.  St Mary’s is frequently used for bell ringing competitions as the bells are considered “challenging”!

Practice night is Wednesday from 7pm–8pm    -     visiting ringers and anyone wanting to learn, are very welcome.

If you are particularly interested in the bells or would like more information about becoming a bell ringer, please contact either:-

Bell Captain  -  Johanna Westgate  (01626 364652)    johannawestgate@outlook.com                                      

Secretary     -  Liz Smyth-Osbourne  (01626 368400) lizsmytho@hotmail.co.uk


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