Christ Church has a brand new ring of eight bells installed in January 2015, tenor 13 cwt. We practice from 9:30am to 11am on Saturday mornings and ring for services from 9:15am to 9:55am on Sunday mornings. For training we have installed a dumb bell.
Our team is led by:
For more information please contact:
Ian Hay Davison, 13 Catharine Place, Bath, BA1 2PR.
The History of Christ Church's Bells
One bell was installed in the new Christ Church during 1801. This was increased to four and then replaced by six from the Whitechapel Foundry in 1868; in 1873 the octave was completed.
But the bell frame design was poor and in 1913 the St Andrews ringers, who also rang the bells here at Christ Church, complained that they were too difficult to ring. In the 1920’s ringing had completely died out until a team of volunteers led by David Kelly restored the frame, wheels and fittings in the early 1980s. But the bells were still difficult to ring and ringing was confined to once a month because of the poor condition of the bell frame and fittings. Regular monthly ringing ceased in 1997. Thereafter the bells were only rung on only four occasions, and the peal was finally condemned in 2013. The bells were very loud in the immediate vicinity of the church, because there was no sound control.
We decided, with David Kelly’s advice and that of the Whitechapel Foundry, to replace the bells altogether and to install a new frame, wheels and proper soundproofing. The old tenor (number 8 bell) was cracked and was melted down to be recast at Whitechapel, with other metal, as our new bells 1 to 5. We obtained three bells (6, 7 and 8) from a redundant church in Liverpool and our old bells (1 to 7) were distributed to a variety of churches – number 7 is now the number 6 at a church in Prescot, Manchester and another bell was shipped to a church in Dulwich Hill, Sydney, Australia. A further bell was sent to Willingale in Essex to replace a poor-sounding bell and the remaining four make up part of a six at Ipstones in Staffordshire.
Our new bells and frame were dedicated by the Bishop of Bath and Wells in December 2014 and installed in January 2015.
Photos of the 2014 bell restoration can be viewed here.
The restoration was extensively reported in the local and regional media - click here for links to these stories.