Lost Rings

Bristol Rural Branch

Gloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association

St Helen, Rudgeway - click for a larger versionSt Helen, Rudgeway



See a photo of this tower: 320 x 240 or 800 x 600 pixels.

This church was the original Parish Church of Alveston. Now a ruin, it was replaced in 1885 by the present church of St Helen, Alveston about a mile further up the road towards Gloucester.

The two heaviest bells of this ring were incorporated into the ring of six at the new church. The treble was left in the tower until about 1955, when it was hung for chiming outside the new church of St Mary In The Barn, Winterbourne (ST648809). When that church closed in the mid-1980s, it so happened that the nearby church of St Michael the Archangel, Winterbourne was having some work done to its tower roof, and the opportunity was taken to move the bell, along with its original fittings, into their belfry for storage.

The bells of St Helen, Rudgeway
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
13 cwt 25½ in  Bristol Foundry c.1450
24¾ cwt 30 inC# Bristol Foundry c.1450
36½ cwt 34 inB John Pennington 1635

Source: Bell data from Nick Bowden, Andrew Bull and Paul Grainger-Allen. Diameter of treble from "The Church Bells of Gloucestershire" (Revd Henry Thomas Ellacombe, 1881). Further information from Chris Greef and Terry Jefferies.

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.