Lost Rings

Wotton-under-Edge Branch

Gloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association

St Michael the Archangel, Hill



This tower's single bell is hung in a 17th Century oak frame that bears the inscription "ILE". The frame originally rested on three oak beams, but the central beam has been removed. The bell was rehung with new fittings by Whites of Appleton in 1974, replacing a very dilapidated elm headstock on plain bearings and a Medieval stirrup-topped clapper suspended from a 17th Century false crown staple. In more recent years it has been rehung for swing-chiming by a lever attached to its headstock.

The bell has domed crown, and its canons have broken off. Its strike note is slightly sharp of C natural. It was possibly cast in the late 16th or early 17th Century by an itinerant founder who probably copied the inscription from a previous Medieval bell. This inscription was commonly used on bells from the Gloucester Foundry, but the lettering used here has not been seen anywhere else in the Gloucester Diocese. The church history states that the bell is "reputed to be 17th Century by Purdue", and also that "there were once four bells".

The bells of St Michael the Archangel, Hill
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
16 cwt 32½ inC   c.1600

Source: "Church Bells of Gloucestershire" (Mary Bliss & Frederick Sharpe, 1986). Further information from John Adams's 1 and 2 Bell Towers list. Church visited (but bell not seen) 15th January 2006.

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.