Lost Rings

Wotton-under-Edge Branch

Gloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association

St Mary the Virgin, Hawkesbury - click for a larger versionSt Mary the Virgin, Hawkesbury



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This bell still hangs in Hawkesbury church but no longer for full-circle ringing, as it was rehung for chiming by Whitechapel in 1976. Whitechapel also drilled out the cast-in crown staple, quarter-turned the bell and renewed its fittings, hanging it with an iroko headstock and an iron chiming lever. It has plain canons and was tuned by hand.

Previously, the bell was hung with an elm headstock on plain bearings in a 14th Century oak three-bell frame, probably the finest example of a Medieval bellframe in the Gloucester Diocese. Its fittings included a Medieval stirrup-topped clapper, an inverted pendulum slider and keyed ironwork to attach its canons to the headstock. The tower itself also dates from the 14th Century, though its foundations are from four hundred years earlier.

The bells of St Mary the Virgin, Hawkesbury
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
19 cwt 36¾ inA Bristol Foundry C14th

Source: "Church Bells of Gloucestershire" (Mary Bliss & Frederick Sharpe, 1986).

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.