The following brief history and the photo of the Belfry at St Mary’s Church are taken from the Thornbury Bells website
‘The tower of St Mary’s Church contains a ring of eight bells, the largest weighing some 18½ cwt. Their early history is not clear: the oak bellframe, hung high in the tower at the level of the louvres, is of traditional 17th century Gloucestershire style and appears to have been constructed as one unit, suggesting that there were eight bells originally. But the six heaviest bells, all from the Gloucester Rudhall foundry, range in date from 1698 to 1828 and, although the fourth bell of 1698 bears the inscription ‘Abr Rudhall cast us all’, there is no mention of Thornbury in the catalogues of bells cast by the foundry between 1684 and 1830. Also, the two bells dated 1698 bear different names in their inscriptions’.
We are very grateful to David ‘Arch’ Andrews, the Captain of the Tower Bells for sending us several photos of the various memorial boards which are hung in the bell tower and a photo of the bell ringers taken in 1897.
He has also added to their website the following information about the present bells which mention several of the people of the Town:
|Treble||5-3-10||30in||D||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd||1996|
GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST
17 W (bell) E 60 / LLEWELLINS & JAMES / BRISTOL 1886 / RECAST / 19 (Whitechapel Mark) 96 / WHITECHAPEL
M. VOOGHT – VICAR / V. MURRAY P. SAGE A. MULLINEX } CHURCHWARDENS
|2||6-0-10||31in||C#||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd||1938|
M’R IOHN SALMON M’R IAMES CULLIMORE CH W’NS W (bell) E J760
RECAST 1938 / (Whitechapel Mark) / H. E. McLEOD. VICAR / R. A. BENNETT. L. T. THORSTON. } CHURCHWARDENS. / “GOD IS OUR HOPE AND STRENGTH”
|* M. F. T. STEPHENS VICAR J. FORD W. CORNOCK & W. COWLEY C. WARDENS. J828. I. RUDHALL FECT.|
|4||7-1-02||35in||A||Abraham Rudhall 1||1698|
|ION THVRSTON (arabesque) WM TANNER GOD SAVE THE KING 1698 (scroll) / (vine border all round) / (vine) (arabesque) (scroll) ABR RVDHALL CAST VS ALL|
|MORDECAI HIGNELL CHURCH WARDEN 1788 I. RUDHALL FECT.|
|THE REVD. M F T STEPHENS VICAR JAS. FORD WM. CORNOCK & WM. COWLEY CHURCHWARDENS. J828. I. RUDHALL FECT.|
|7||13-3-07||44in||E||Abraham Rudhall 1||1698|
|THO: HARVEST (tree) IOH: HEWETT (tree) WILM: CLARKE: CH WRD: 1698 (arabesque)|
|Tenor||18-2-19||49in||D||Abraham Rudhall 1||1717|
|RALPH GROUE VICAR GUY HEWETT HEN: PRICHARD ROB: WYSE: C:W: 1717 A (bell) R (arabesque)|
Click on each of the thumbnails shown below to see a larger image.