Pershore Bells and the

Pershore Abbey Society of Bell Ringers

Abbey Bell Ringers

The Pershore Abbey Society of Bell Ringers is a voluntary organisation under the leadership of the Tower Captain. The ringers’ experience is wide ranging, some having been ringing for over 50 years and others for only a short time.  Ringers from neighbouring villages also support the local band.  We are always looking for new ringers and will arrange individual training for those who have never touched a bellrope.  The bells are rung for Sunday morning services together with weddings and other festivals.  For more information about bell-ringing please contact the tower captain, secretary or any of the ringers.


The Abbey Bells

The Pershore Abbey bells are famous among bell-ringers both for the beauty of their tone and for the unique ringing platform, known as ‘the cage’– which was erected in 1864 when Gilbert Scott removed the floor of the former ringing chamber to open up the lantern tower.  

The Bells

In 1552 it was recorded ‘In the steple five bells, which of late time was bought of the King’s majestie ….’   Today there are eight bells. Six of the bells were cast in 1729 by Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester; the treble (the lightest bell) was cast in 1814 by Thomas Mears of London, and the fourth in 1897 by Barwell of Birmingham.  During the archaeological investigations of 1996, a bell-founding pit was discovered close to the Haselwood monument in the south transept.  The bells are hung in a wooden bell-frame which some experts consider to date to the 17th century which implies there were eight bells before the 1729 casting, although there is some doubt about this.  The largest bell (the tenor) is estimated to weigh 25½ cwt and sounds the note D.

1. Thomas Mears, London, 1814 inscribed ‘JOSEPH MARTIN JAMES EVANS CHURCH WARDENS 1814 ‘(on the border)

2. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1729 inscribed ‘PEACE AND GOOD NEIGHBOURHOOD A R 1729’

3. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1729 inscribed ‘ABR RUDHALL OF GLOUCESTER CAST US ALL 1729’

4. Barwell, Birmingham, 1897 inscribed ‘BARWELL FOUNDER BIRMINGHAM. PROSPERITY TO THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND 1729 RECAST FEBRUARY 1897’

5. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1729 inscribed ‘PROSPERITY TO ALL OUR BENEFACTORS A R 1729’

6. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1729 inscribed ‘WALTER MARRIOTT AND EDWARD GALE CHURCHWARDENS A R 1729’

7. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1729 inscribed ‘RICHD ROBERTS ESQR JOHN YEEND & THOS ASHFIELD GENTN TRUSTEES A R 1729’

8. Abraham Rudhall II, Gloucester, 1729, 25.5cwt in D inscribed ‘I TO THE CHURCH THE LIVING CALL AND TO THE GRAVE DO SUMMON ALL 1729’



St Andrews Bells

St. Andrew's church was closed in the early 1970s and has since been converted into St Andrew’s Centre. The bells were originally a 1715 Rudhall ring of 6. They were removed in March 1971 to the bell foundry of John Taylor & Co at Loughborough where they were slightly tuned, fitted with new head-stocks, clappers, wheels and ball-bearings, and hung in a new steel and cast-iron frame.  In 1981/2 they were augmented to a ring of 8 when two more bells were added by Taylor’s.

1.  John Taylor, Loughborough, 1981, 3-1-22   

2.  John Taylor, Loughborough, 1981, 3-2-24   

3.  Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1715, 3-3-14 inscribed ‘WHEN WE DO RING I SWEETLY SING A.R. 1715’

4.  Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1715, 4-1-6 inscribed ‘PEACE AND GOOD NEIGHBOURHOOD  A.R 1715’

5.  Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1715, 4-2-22 inscribed ‘JOHN WILKES C.W.  A.R.1715’

6.  Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1715, 5-2-11 inscribed ‘ABR.  REYDHALL OF GLOUCESTER CAST US ALL 1715’

7.  Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1715, 6-3-8 inscribed ‘GOD PRESERVE THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND  A.R. 1715’

8.  Abraham Rudhall I, Gloucester, 1715, 9-0-18 in G sharp inscribed ‘SIMON BEVERTON VICAR. THO ASHFIELD GT. ED. DIMMOCK  CH. WARDENS 1715’

Link to other Bellringing sites

Worcestershire and District Change Ringing Association (W&DCRA)  www.wdcra.org.uk

Dove’s Guide - a comprehensive list of Church bells   dove.cccbr.org.uk

The ‘Ringing World’ - the weekly journal for Church Bellringers since 1911 www.ringingworld.co.uk

Central Council of Church Bell Ringers (CCCBR)  www.cccbr.org.uk

Contact Details

 

The Tower Captain:  Stuart Piper

Tower Secretary:  Jenny Roberts

The Carillon

The Carillon

The carillon, made in 1879 by Gillett and Bland of Croydon, has a two-week cycle of tunes which play every three hours from 9.00am to 9.00pm.  There are two tube barrels available, each having seven melodies, the tune being changed daily.  Unfortunately this is currently not working because it requires a complete overhaul and renovation.

Clock mechanism

The Clock

The clock was made by Joyce of Whitchurch, Shropshire, who also made the clock for Worcester Cathedral. It was installed in 1872 as a memorial to Francis Davies, a popular local doctor, who died in 1869.  It replaced one made in 1746 by John Steight of the renowned Tho. Steight and Son. (now in Pershore), which had kept time for 126 years.



Click on this picture to hear how the bells sound:

The bell frame Bell frame Bells and bell frame Bells and bellframe Top view of bell frame Bells and bell frame

Click on pictures for a larger view

Why no tunes from the bells?