Lost Rings

Bristol Branch

Gloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association

St Mary the Virgin, Redcliffe, Bristol



These are the bells as recorded by Ellacombe in 1881, including the weights of the 10th and 11th before being retuned by John Taylor & Co. in 1903 when all but three of the bells were recast to form the present ring. The only bells that survive from this ring are the 8th, 10th and 11th. The plan had been to retain the 9th bell as well but this was unfortunately dropped and broken in transit, the cost of recasting being met by the Midland Railway.

When the ring was augmented from ten to twelve bells in 1872, the 292 ft spire had recently been completed after more than 400 years as a truncated stump. Two thirds of it had fallen when struck by lightning in 1446.

The bells of St Mary the Virgin, Redcliffe, Bristol
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
16-1-07 28¼ inF# Mears & Stainbank 1872
26-3-00 30¼ inE Mears & Stainbank 1872
36-3-15 31¼ inD# Thomas Mears II 1823
47-3-00 33¼ inC# Thomas Mears II 1823
59-0-00 35¾ inB Abraham Rudhall I 1698
610-2-21 37¼ inA# Abraham Rudhall I 1698
712-3-02 40½ inG# Thomas Bilbie I 1763
813¾ cwt 43¼ inF# Thomas Bilbie I 1763
917-2-07 47 inE Thomas Bilbie I 1763
1022-0-15 50¼ inD# Thomas Bilbie I 1763
1127-0-23 57 inC# Roger Purdue I 1622
1239-0-00 62 inB Roger Purdue I 1622

Source: Bell data from "The Church Bells of Gloucestershire" (Revd Henry Thomas Ellacombe, 1881); founder of tenors from Dove's Guide. Weight of 8th bell estimated personally; weights of 10th and 11th from the Keltek Trust; all other weights, plus diameters of all except 8th, 10th and 11th from David L. Cawley via Nick Bowden. Further information from the website of St Mary the Virgin, Redcliffe and Will Willans.

Where a bell's exact weight is known, it is given in the traditional way using the British imperial units of Hundredweight, Quarters and Pounds (cwt-qtr-lb) in which there are 28 pounds in a quarter, four quarters in a hundredweight, and 20 hundredweight in a ton (one hundredweight is equal to approximately 50.8 kilograms). However, if only an approximate or calculated weight is known, it is given to the nearest quarter of a hundredweight.

A bell's diameter is measured across its mouth (open end) at the widest point and is given in inches (to the nearest quarter of an inch), one inch being equal to approximately 2.54 centimetres.