BuiltWithNOF
Bells

The first known record of bells in St. Mary's is in the 1549 account of Church Goods in Cheshire where it was returned that we had 'one chales and iiij bells'.

In 1719, Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester cast a ring of bells for St. Mary's, four of which form part of the present ring of eight. There is no known record of how many bells were cast, but in 1756 a Thomas Townley issued a challenge in 'Schofields Middlewich Journal' to a ringing competition between Nantwich, Leek and Stoke on six bells at Sandbach. The stakes in this competition were raised to an astonishing 20 guineas a man. This then, is proof that the church had six bells in 1756. However, the competition never took place.

Ringing also took place on many other none authorised occasions. In September 1835, a directive was issued to guard the belfry key, and the ringers were warned about non-authorised ringing.

In the 150 years following the installation of Rudhall's bells, four more were added, recast, and re-hung making up the present ring of eight bells. The records of the bells are almost non-existent and we can only speculate as to some of their history. The bells were re-hung in 1924 and 1938.

During the end of summer 1999, two firms of bell founders inspected the bells and their fittings. Both firms came to the conclusion that the bells are still sound and the frame is in good condition but the bells need re-hanging with all new fittings. The re-hang of 1938 re-used the poor quality fittings used in 1924.

The bells were re-hung in 2001.

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