Local Tower Information

Chippenham Branch

Gloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association

Holy Trinity, Cold Ashton - click for a larger versionHoly Trinity, Cold Ashton



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Unringable; both bells were previously clapper-chimed from the ground floor, but the tenor's rope is broken in the belfry. They were originally the treble and tenor to a ring of four, but the middle two bells (tuned to A# and G#, assuming a major key) were sold in 1800 to pay for a church organ. The money was in fact used to build a gallery (since removed) at the west end of the nave, and an organ was later given to the church.

It is believed that the two missing bells were bought by the church of St Peter, Dyrham. Records show that Dyrham once had two bells cast in 1638 by an unknown founder, tuned to B and A# respectively and forming the third and fourth of their ring of six. Purdue bells were often blank, so it is possible that these bells were cast with the treble for Cold Ashton by Roger Purdue I, and then retuned when they were sold in 1800. However, this is all speculation.

The remaining two bells are hung by their canons, the treble having been additionally bolted later, on plain bearings in the original 17th Century oak four-bell frame. Both have conventional fittings, with sliders that are pivoted on the same side as the stays. The frame itself was built into the walls of the tower, however concrete corbels have since been added below the southern foundation beam. Little evidence remains of whether the two missing bells were also hung for full-circle ringing, however parts of both pits have been cut away to allow the bells to pass, indicating that they were rung at least half way up.

The bells of Holy Trinity, Cold Ashton
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
17 cwt 33¾ inB Roger Purdue I 1637
215 cwt 43¾ inF# Roger Purdue I 1616

Source: Inspected personally 19th September 2006; founders and dates confirmed by Nick Bowden and Robin Shipp. Further information from a history of the church written by The Hon. W.R.S. Bathurst, F.S.A, Churchwarden 1948-70.

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.