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Bell Ringing

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Have you ever heard the chimes in the air and wonder where the beautiful sound is coming from:

 

Come to discover the world of bell ringing, here at St. Mary's Church.  Bell Ringing is an activity like no other; it is a mix of physical activity and mental ability.  People have been bell ringing for hundreds of years, yet it is still evolving.  If you are 14 years or over, come along to find out more about this fascinating hobby.

 

PRACTICES

Alternate Tuesdays 7pm (Due to current conditions please contact the coordinator)

Coordinator: John Armitage     

email: bellringing.roadestmarys@gmail.com

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Sounds of St Mary's

The lower part of the tower originates from Norman times (during the 12th century).  At some time in the 1400's (it is suggested nearer 1450), a bell chamber was added on top of the tower to house 4 bells still in position and are still rung today.  The 3 largest bells could be described as the greatest of all ancient treasures in the village of Roade, cast in 1450 and remained untouched even through the Reformation in the 16th Century.  Then in 1950 during St Mary's restoration, they were recast.  Through the markings on the three bells we know they were cast by William Chamberlain of London who was a member of the Guild of Master Founders.  The company also cast a few other famous bells, those of St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminister Abbey and probably the most famous across the world "Big Ben".  The casting of our three bells was actually carried out in a deep indentation in Churchcroft,  (north of the church)   Transporting heavy objects like bells in those days being very difficult.  The fourth bell may be of the same age but cannot be confirmed as it was recast in 1727 by Russell of Wootton.  During the major restoration in 1950 a new steel frame was installed in the bell chamber to house  the original 4 bells and for the addition of 2 further bells, it was not until after 1950 that the final two bells were added.  The first of the two additions was donated by Sir Cyril Cripps M.B.E (significant figure of Roade) in 1952 to commemorate the restoration of the church in 1950.  The second bell (the smallest one) 'also' donated by Sir Cyril Cripps M.B.E in 1979 dedicated to his wife Lady Amy Cripps. 

                                                There is a 7th bell, a small bell around ten inches in diameter that is now on display in the church.  It has a large crack in it

                                                and has no inscription.  It is thought to be the ancient sanctus bell (rung in the opening words of mass) due to there being a

                                                mention in a 1552 inventory discovered at the church.  

                                                

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No. 1 Bell: Weight 4cwt.  4qrs. 4lbs.  Cast in 1979 by Taylors of Loughborough

INSCRIBED:                     LADY AMY CRIPPS, ROADE 1979

                                           CHRISTENED ST. THOMAS ON 05TH OCTOBER 1979

No. 3 Bell:    Weight 5cwt.  3qrs.  14lbs.  Recast in 1727 by Russell of Wootton

INSCRIBED:                   THOMAS RUSSELL OF WOOTTON MADE ME IN 1727

            Originally it was a medieval casting and inscribed:

                                         NOVA CAMPANA MARGARETA EST NOMINATA

                                                    (A new bell is named Margaret)

No. 5 Bell:    Weight 8cwt.  1qrs.  21lbs.  Cast in 1450

INSCRIBED:                   SANCTA KATERINA ORA PRO NOBIS

                                             (Holy Catherine, pray for us)

No. 2 Bell:   Weight 5cwt. 0qrs. 21lbs.  Cast in 1952

INSCRIBED:                    ROADE PARISH CHURCH RESTORED 1950

                                          CYRIL THOMAS CRIPPS. ESQ. M.B.E

                                          THE NAME OF THE BELL IS SAINT CECILIA 

No. 4 Bell:    Weight 6cwt.  1qrs.  20lbs.  cast in 1450

INSCRIBED:                   SIC NOMEN DOMINI BENEDICTUM

                                               (The name of the lord is blessed)

                                         

 

        

No. 6 Bell:    Weight 10cwt.  2qrs.  17lbs.  Cast in 1450

INSCRIBED:                    IN MULTIS ANNIS RESONET CAMPANA JOHANNIS

                                             (For many years, may St. John's bell be rung)