Our Church Bells – Dating back to 1763

 

The Bell Ringing Chamber inside Nevern Church, Wooden beams with stone walls. St Brynach, Nevern, Pembrokeshire

The Bell Ringing Chamber

The 12th century tower contains a ring of six bells cast by Thomas Rudhall of Gloucester in 1763. One of them became cracked and was recast in 1887. Rudhall’s bell foundry was worked by members of the Rudhall family from 1684 to 1830 when the business was bought by Thomas Mears of London whose successors own the Whitechapel foundry today. Only in 2017 do we hear that the Whitechapel foundry is itself to close.

Two of our church bells hanging in the tower. Nevern Church, St Brynach, Nevern, Pembrokeshire

 

 

They are hung in their original 1763 oak frame thought to have been made by a local carpenter and are fitted with elm headstocks, strap gudgeons, brass bearings and traditional wheels for dead stop ringing which is an unusual arrangement for this  part of Wales.

 

The bells weigh some 30 cwt with strike notes of F, E, D, C#, B, A. Each is inscribed, some with the names of the donors, in Rudhall lettering and scroll borders.

Sadly the condition and age of the frame prevents  full peal ringing and they are presently chimed by means of an Ellacombe chiming manual situated in the vestry.

The Belfry inside of Nevern Church's 12th century tower, St Brynach, Nevern, Pembrokeshire

The Belfry

 

 

The 1763 frame and wheels are in a sorry state and the belfry floor has mainly disintegrated as have most of the wheels. It is essential that work is put in hand to make all safe and to allow full ringing again. It is proposed that a new steel frame be made and placed in the tower above the 1763 frame which can then be preserved for its historic value. The cost of this is expected to be in excess of £80,000 and the parish are presently seeking ways to raise this money to conserve an important piece of local history.

 

 

 

The research and history about our Church Bells provided by Peter Campbell.

 

Unless otherwise stated all photographs are the copyright of Peter Heard, Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society