At St Stephen We are proud
of our Bell ringing Heritage
St Stephen-in-Brannel Parish church has 8 bells ranging from the tenor weighing 13 ¼ cwt to the treble at 3 cwt. Our earliest records are in 1690 when there were 3 bells. The ropes and frames to these were repaired in 1691. In 1719 records show that a 4th bell was recast locally. This work took place in the churchyard. In 1730 the old bells were taken to Padstow and then transported by sea to Gloucester and a new ring of 6 returned in the same way. BR. RVDHALL OF GLOUCESTER CAST US ALL 1730 was inscribed on the 3rd bell and this can still be seen there today. Further work in 1800 was carried out by the Gloucester foundry when the 5th bell was recast and all new frames and hoops were fitted to all 6 bells.
The Church had a complete restoration in 1893 and the bells were rehung in new oak frames by J.Warner & Son of London. The tenor was also recast and all the bells were retuned by chipping the bells after which the 5th was cracked. Later that year Taylors of Loughborough advised the ringers to have the bells recast and in 1908 this work was carried out and 2 bells added making a ring of 8 and is still regarded to have a perfect tone and pitch. Total cost of this work was £450 and the bells were transported by train from Grampound Road to the foundry in Loughborough.
Major work was carried out in 2002 when the bells were removed and taken to Taylors of Loughborough. New galvanized frames were fitted and the bells retuned. Ringers and their families and friends visited Taylors of Loughborough to see the work in progress on the bells, which were returned and fitted. On Friday 21st June 2002 the bells were blessed by Rt Revd Roy Screech.
After a lot of hard work by Taylors engineers, local tradesmen and volunteers the restoration of the bells was complete. A celebration and thanksgiving service was held on 27th July 2002 and the Bishop of Truro the Rev. Bill Ind rededicated the bells, this was followed with ringing by many visiting ringers.
These repairs cost £30,000, much of which was raised by local parishioners.
ORIGINAL INSCRIPTIONS PRESERVED
Cwt. Qrs. Lbs. Note
Treble 1909 3 2 19 F
2nd PEACE AND GOOD NEIGHBOURHOOD 1730 3 3 12 E
3rd PROSPERITY TO THIS PARISH 1730 4 1 4 D
4th ABR. RVDHALL OF GLOUCESTER CAST US 1730 4 3 15 C
5th PROSPERITY TO THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND 1730 6 0 11 Bb
6th RE-CAST BY I RVDHALL1801 7 0 27 A
7th RE-CAST1893J. KENDALL RASHLEIGH RECTOR 9 1 10 G
Tenor I TO THE CHURCH THE LIVING CALL 13 1 20 F
AND TO THE GRAVE DO SUMMON ALL
H. HOLROYD MILLS RECTOR
JACOB OLVER J. MITCHELL 1909 CHURCHWARDENS
Ringing practice takes place on Monday evenings throughout the year (on Tuesdays after a bank holiday). Visitors are always welcome. Do come and join us from 7.30pm.
New ringers are always welcome, and we have a team of experienced ringers who would love to help you learn during dedicated beginner's practices.
Please do get in touch for more information.