The Thornbury Bells and Bell Ringers

St Mary's Church

Bellringers 2017-10-19T18:25:30+00:00

BelfryThe 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:

Bell Weight Diameter Note

Founder

Date
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”

3 6-1-24 31in B John Rudhall 1828
* 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
5 8-1-20 38in G John Rudhall 1788
MORDECAI HIGNELL CHURCH WARDEN 1788 I. RUDHALL FECT.
6 11-1-19 41in F# John Rudhall 1828
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.

 

1856 First Peal Board commemorating the ringing of the bells on 29th December 1856 by eight of St Mary Redcliff Ringers assisted by one of the Thornbury Ringers (whom we assume to be Nathaniel Bartlett Junior).  Mentions Vicar, Revd. M. F. S. Townsend and Churchwardens James Willshen, Robert Screen and Arthur Screen.
Bell ringers 1887 Board commemorating the Jubilee Peal on 24th April 1887 by J. Davis, W. Sevier, G. Daltry, G. iles, J. Hinton, H. Mitchell, F. Howell and J. Phillips.  Also mentions Vicar, H. B. Hodgson and Churchwardens, J. Y. Sturge, J. H. Thurston and T.D. Till 
Bell ringers 1901 Board commemorating the ringing of the bells on 19th January 1901 by W. Stowell, F. G. May, J. Thomas, W. Knight, J. J. Poole, H. W. Fussell, H. T. Howell and F. K. Howell.  Also mentions Vicar, Revd A. W. Cornwall and Churchwardens H. H. Lloyd, H. P. Thurston and J. B. Till,
Bell ringers June 1901 Board commemorating the ringing of the bells on 9th June 1901 by T. Alsop, W. Somerville, C. Gordon, H. Fussell, F. K. Howell, J. Poole, W. Stowell and H. Howell. 
Bell ringers 1946 Board commemorating the broadcasting of the bells by the B. B. C. on Christmas Day 1946.  The ringers were W. G. Symes, J. Collins, A. Burrows, S. Poole, R. Poole, J. King and W. Poole.  Also mentions Vicar, R. G. Rawstone and Churchwardens R. A. Bennett, S. W. G. Dennis and L. J. Hawkins
Bell ringers 1897 A group photograph of the Thornbury Society of Change Ringers taken on 28th June 1897 – specifically T. Alsop, J. Phillips, F. Poole,  A. B. Phelps, C. Eddington, F. K. Howell, W. Davis (Captain) and J. Poole

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