Local Tower Information

Bristol Branch

Gloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association

Christ Church with St Ewen, Bristol



The present church was completed in 1790, replacing a Medieval building, and to celebrate the ring of eight bells transferred from the previous tower was augmented to ten with the addition of two new trebles. In 1883 the west front of the church was adorned with a heavy ironwork clock by Henry Williams upon which two Quarter Jacks chime a ting-tang. The Quarter Jacks date from 1728 and survive from the previous church, although the bells they strike (listed as Quarter #1 and Quarter #2 in the "Additional Bells" table below) were recast in 1912. The smaller of the two bells is on the left-hand (northern) side of the clock.

The Sanctus bell was originally one of two that hung in the 60-foot high tower of St Ewen (ST588730), the smallest church in Bristol, which stood on the opposite side of Broad Street to Christ Church. Its parish was united with that of Christ Church in 1790, and in 1820 the church was demolished to make way for what is now the Old Council House. The bell in question was later transferred to the Wesleyan Methodist Portland Chapel, Kingsdown (ST585738) and hung in a bell turret at the west end of the roof. When Portland Chapel was demolished for housing in 1970 the bell was moved to the Victoria Methodist Church, Clifton (ST578734). Latterly, it was stored in a crate at Bristol Industrial Museum (ST585722) before returning (almost) home to Christ Church in 1995.

The Service and Hour bells were transferred from the church of St Thomas, Northwick (ST559867), of which only the tower remains standing in its churchyard. The site is maintained as a monument by Pilning & Severn Beach Parish Council.

The bells of Christ Church with St Ewen, Bristol
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
15¼ cwt 29½ inG William Bilbie 1789
25½ cwt 29 inF William Bilbie 1789
35½ cwt 29½ inEb Abraham Rudhall I 1716
45½ cwt 30 inD Abraham Rudhall I 1716
55 cwt 32 inC Abraham Rudhall I 1716
67 cwt 34½ inBb Abraham Rudhall I 1716
78¾ cwt 37½ inAb Abraham Rudhall I 1716
89¾ cwt 39¼ inG Abraham Rudhall I 1716
912¾ cwt 42½ inF Abraham Rudhall I 1716
1020 cwt 48¾ inEb Abraham Rudhall I 1716

Additional Bells

Additional bells at Christ Church with St Ewen, Bristol
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
Sanctus  15 in  Abraham Rudhall I 1698
Service1¼ cwt 16½ in  Evan Evans I 1713
Quarter #12-1-04 20 in  Mears & Stainbank 1912
Quarter #23-0-11 24¾ in  Mears & Stainbank 1912
Hour7 cwt 32½ in  Evan Evans I 1713

Source: Bell data from Dove's Guide. Further information from George Dawson, The Ringing World 4372 (page 140), and ChurchCrawler (Phil M. Draper).

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.