Davenham Church Bell Ringers, news from the ‘Tower’
There are six bells in the Tower at St Wilfrid’s which have called parishioners to Church for over 300 years. The tenor bell was cast locally in the church yard at Holmes Chapel in 1711. This weighs 14cwt and is tuned to the note E. The other five bells were cast in Gloucester by the Rudhall Bell Foundry in the 1700s.
There are 54 steps to the ringing chamber where the bells are rung. The bells are each hung on a full wheel which enables them to be rung full circle for change ringing. In change ringing, the bells are rung in defined sequences called methods. There are numerous methods to ring depending on how adventurous and capable the ringers are. It is possible to ring in over 5000 bell towers, these are listed in “Doves Guide To Church Bells”.
There is a weekly bell ringing journal entitled “The Ringing World” which publishes ringing performances and activities.
Davenham Tower is affiliated to The Chester Diocesan Guild Of Church Bell Ringers.
There are peal boards in the tower commemorating various events over the centuries including:
Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
In 1986, the 900th anniversary of the mention of Davenham Church and priest in the Doomsday Book of 1086.
In 1987, to mark the centenary of the Chester Diocesan Guild of Bell Ringers.
Bell ringing is a unique, traditional hobby which has been practiced throughout the British Isles for over 400 years. Ringing also traveled with the British empire to Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa – plenty of scope for travel. It is a team activity which can be great fun and provides a service to the Church; ringing for Sunday service, weddings, etc. Ringing provides a healthy exercise which can be mental as well as physical. You don’t need to be big and strong, it helps if you have a sense of rhythm and reasonable coordination, you don’t have to be a musician.
If you would like to try bell ringing – it will involve a weekly commitment, you must be over 18 years of age and able to climb the tower steps to the ringing chamber.
Contact: Steve Knight, Tower Captain 01606 833742.