top of page
Musical notes.jpg

Bodenham Bells

Hear the Bodenham Bells ring out!

Are you interested in Bellringing?

If you would like to join our Team of Bellringers, please contact us, we would love to hear from you!

 

Climb 46 steps, open the door, be careful not to fall into the ringing chamber, and here you are - 6 ropes, all with  decorated fluffy bits (sallies) and loops close to their ends  (tails) .  They  all hang through holes in the ceiling, and will be easy to pull, so long as the bells are not “up".

In an inventory of 1553 there were only 4 bells, “ whereof the least is xxxiii inches the second xxxv inches the thirde xxxviii the iiii xl inches brode in the mouthes.”  It is probable that all 4 were cast in the adjacent field, transport being what it was, by an itinerant bell maker.  Subsequent bells were hung in 1665 (“the restoration”) and others in in 1729, 1867 and 1897. Then all six were taken away to Croydon in 1951, melted down and recast. They were rehung in a new iron frame, also by Croydon’s Gillett and Johnston (see below).  This famous firm made such superb and expensive  bells and frames that they ceased to exist soon after.

 

So we now have these splendid bells, from the Treble of 4 1/4 cwt to the Tenor of 12 1/4cwt, in memory of the Rev. H.G. Sturges and his wife, paid for by the parishioners of Bodenham.

Stairs to tower.jpeg
Steps leading to the Tower
Gillet and Johnston photo of bells.png

If the bells are indeed hanging “down,” by increasingly long pulls on these ropes they turn upside down and are “up”, resting on a wooden “stay” - a safety valve designed to break and allow the bell to come down under its own weight and not damage the frame, if pulled too hard.

 

To confirm all of the above, back to those tower-steps, and another 14 will bring you to the belfry door (opened with a large key ) and there are the magnificent 6, fixed by their heads to large wheels in which run the ropes.

Each bell carries an inscription detailing its its dedication and its history, and inside, hanging from their middle, is the clapper which gives the bell-metal container its voice.

 

They have been summoning the faithful for 500 years.

bottom of page