Lost Rings

Bristol Branch

Gloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association

St George the Martyr, St George



In 1751 the parish of Ss Philip & Jacob, Bristol was divided due to the growing number of coalminers living in the eastern parts. The foundation stone of the new church was laid on 3rd March 1752, and the building was completed in 1756. However, the church was deemed "not very ecclesiastical" and was subsequently rebuilt in 1846. Even this building didn't last very long as it was consumed by a large fire in 1878 and rebuilt once more in 1879-80.

Llewellins & James of Bristol cast and hung a ring of six bells in the tower in 1879. They returned in 1919 to add two World War II memorial trebles, thereby producing their only complete ring of eight bells to be hung in their home city. The bells were never maintained in good condition, largely due to a disagreement between the ringers and the incumbent shortly after the augmentation, until in 1965 a group of Bristol ringers brought them up to scratch. However, just ten years later in 1975 they were transferred to St Barnabas, Warmley to replace their original ring of six.

The following year, and less than a hundred years after it was completed, the church was closed as a dangerous structure and demolished by dynamite, the tower needing two attempts to bring it down. Town houses and flats now occupy the churchyard - the main building, named "St George's House", may stand on the site of the church itself. All that remains of any of the three churches is the west doorway from the tower of the very first building which has been built into the north wall of the churchyard on Summerhill Road.

The bells of St George the Martyr, St George
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
13-2-21 24¾ inG Llewellins & James 1919
24-1-02 26 inF# Llewellins & James 1919
34-2-26 28 inE Llewellins & James 1879
46-0-03 31 inD Llewellins & James 1879
55-2-01 31½ inC Llewellins & James 1879
67-2-23 34½ inB Llewellins & James 1879
710-2-16 38¾ inA Llewellins & James 1879
815-0-20 43½ inG Llewellins & James 1879

Source: Bell data from a document in Warmley Ringing Room. Further information from ChurchCrawler (Phil M. Draper), The Ringing World 3396 (pages 453-4) 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.