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BITTERNE PARK BELL RINGERS' WEBSITE

HISTORY

 

Prior to 1919 St Maurice's Church, Winchester contained a peal of 5 bells viz:

TREBLE:

Cast in 1639 by John Higden, an itinerant founder (formerly foreman of Joseph Carter of Reading Bell Foundry). This bell may have been cast at Romsey Hants since it is known that he cast a bell for Winchester College there in 1636-37.

SECOND:

Cast circa 1380 at the Wokingham Bell Foundry, Berkshire. Established as successor to a founding fraternity attached to Chertsey Abbey, Surrey.

THIRD:

Cast in 1603 by John Wallis of Salisbury, Wiltshire.

FOURTH:

Cast circa 1420 at the Wokingham Bell Foundry, Berkshire.

TENOR:

Cast in 1610 by Robert Beconsall, an itinerant founder.

 

In 1919, while St. Maurice's Church was under the care of Rev. W. E. Colchester (later editor of Hampshire Church Bells), the ring of five was restored as a war memorial, the treble being recast and a further treble bell added to make a ring of six, by Gillett & Johnson of Croydon. The six bells were provided with cast iron headstocks and all new ringing fittings, and it is probable that the old bells had their canons removed and were tuned at this time.

In 1957, when the bells were transferred to Bitterne Park, they were augmented to eight with the addition of two new treble bells. The tenor was recast at this time and a service bell added. The new peal of eight were provided with a new frame and fittings for the new trebles. All work was undertaken at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. At the request of the Church authorities, the bells were hung in such a manner that the ropes would not obscure the view of the west window from the main body of the building. Because of this, the ropes fall in two rows of four; one row on the South and one row on the North sides of the ringing area.

 

Frame layout of the eight bells

 

The West window

 

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This page was last updated: 25-01-04