The Colwall Bells

The tower at St James, Colwall dates from the fourteenth century, but the earliest bell dates from 1778. At the beginning of the 20th century, peal ringing was popular at the tower and in 1923 the bell frame received major attention from Mears & Stainbank of Whitechapel, who had previously cast 2 new bells for Colwall in 1896. There has been a continuous history of ringing here since then. You can still see the Seages silent ringing apparatus in the ringing chamber, which allowed ringers in years gone by to practise without disturbing neighbours.

Casting a bell In 1997, the bells were rehung on a new frame and two new bells were cast at the Whitechapel foundry. Subsequently another type of silent ringing apparatus was installed to allow ringers to practise. Like the old Seages apparatus from years ago, this relies on a mechanical device to provide the experience of handling a bell. Unlike its older counterpart, it also incorporates an electronic sensor and a microprocessor to synthesise sound inside the tower and to provide a suitable learning environment.

Bell Weight
cwt  qtrs  lbs
Date Founder Notes Inscription
Treble    2    3     3 1998 Whitechapel
GIVEN BY DAVID AND CATHARINE FOX AND FAMILY S.D. P.S. C.M. C.H.
2    3    1     9 1998 Whitechapel   IN LOVING MEMORY OF STEPHEN BALLARD 1902-1996 HE SPENT HIS LIFE WITHIN THE SOUND OF COLWALL BELLS
GIVEN BY HIS WIFE ROSEMARY
3    3    2    10 1999 Whitechapel   REPLACEMENT FOR ORIGINAL BELL GIVEN IN MEMORY OF PERCIVAL BROADBENT BY HIS WIFE MARY, 1896 / CARL ATTWOOD, RECTOR, CAST1999
4    3    2    23 1999 Whitechapel   REPLACEMENT FOR ORIGINAL BELL GIVEN IN MEMORY OF PERCIVAL BROADBENT BY HIS SIX SONS, 1896 / R.LEADBEATER &D.FOX, WARDENS, CAST 1999
5    4    3    12 1778 Thomas Rudhall Retuned 1998 PEACE & GOOD NEIGHBOURHOOD / 1778
6    4    3    25 1778 Thomas Rudhall Retuned 1998 FEAR GOD HONOUR THE KING / 1778
7    6    0     8 1778 Thomas Rudhall Retuned 1998 PROSPERITY TO THIS PARISH / 1778
8    6    1    14 1778 Thomas Rudhall Retuned 1998 THOS RUDHALL GLOUCESTER FOUNDER / 1778
9    7    3     6 1778 Thomas Rudhall Retuned 1998 MESSR: RICHD: KING SENR RICHD KING JNR: CHURCH WARDENS / 1778
Tenor in G    10    1    5 1778 Thomas Rudhall Retuned 1998 I TO THE CHURCH THE LIVING CALL AND TO THE GRAVE TO SUMMON ALL / 1778