Bells of Liverpool
..
Samuel M Austin



Prescot, St Mary
8 bells, 13-1-13
Grid Ref.: SJ465927

Liverpool Branch
Frame: Probably 1638, extended to accommodate the new ring in 1845
Retuning: 1934 by John Taylor & Co. Loughborough and again 1994 by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London.
Upstairs ringing room.
Sound: D+
Go: C

Bell

Weight

Diameter

Note

Founder

 

 

 

The bottom figures are the measurements obtained by F.H. Cheetham. The top figures are the measurements made by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1993 after tuning.

Treble

4-0-25
4-3-20*

28½”
29”

E

C & G Mears Founders London 1845

2

4-2-18
5-1-6*

2913/16”
30”

D#

C & G Mears Founders London 1845

3

5-2-19
6-1-15*

31½”
33”

C#

C & G Mears Founders London 1845

4

6-3-5
7-1-17*

34”
34”

B

C & G Mears Founders London 1845

5

7-1-7
8-0-13*

35½”
36”

A

C & G Mears Founders London 1845

6

8-0-27
9-0-24*

375/16”
38”

G#

C & G Mears Founders London 1845

7

10-2-23
11-1-24*

40½”
42”

F#

C & G Mears Founders London 1845

Tenor

13-1-13
13-3-2^
14-3-21*

44Ύ”
48”

E

C & G Mears Founders London 1845

Ting-Tang Bell

 

19”

F#

Unknown

Old Ting-Tang Bell

 

14Ύ”

B

Unknown (Possibly John Scott of Wigan)

The bottom figures are the measurements obtained by F.H. Cheetham. The top figures are the measurements made by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1993 after tuning.

^ = this was the weight of the tenor bell before retuning in 1993. No other record of the weights after Taylor’s 1934 tuning have so far been found.
* = 1845 weights on display on a peal board in the ringing room.

The tenor is inscribed on the waist:

REVD CHARLES GEORGE THOMAS DRIFFIELD, VICAR.
HENRY LEE
JAMES GOLLOWAY
HENRY GEORGE BROMILOW
WILLIAM HENSHALL
- CHURCHWARDENS


There is a ting-tang bell now cracked on display in the ringing room. It bears the date 1684.
A new ting-tang bell was acquired from St Bridget Wavertree in the 1990s and hung for swing chiming in the old wooden frame hung ball bearings, a metal bar headstock and chiming lever. It bears no markings or has canons.

Historical Events & Dates

• 1552: “Fawre bellis.”
• 1638: The bells were recast by Clibury of Wellington, Shropshire.
• 1740: Browne Willis notes six bells in the tower.

Chris Pickford gives details of the old bells after they were taken to the foundry (presumably in part exchange for the new bells)
 

Bell

Weight

Diameter

Note

Founder

 

 

 

 

 

Treble

5-1-12

 

 

 

2

This bell was not returned

-

-

-

3

7-1-0

 

 

 

4

8-2-0

 

 

 

5

11-0-7

 

 

 

Tenor

14-0-21

 

 

 

A small bell from Rainhill weighing 1-3-18 was also brought to the foundry with the old bells.

• 1845: The old bells were sold and the proceeds went towards casting a brand new ring of eight. The old fittings were reused for the back six. The wooden frame extended to accommodate the two trebles. Locally it is said that the old bells were sold to Huyton but this is unlikely unless only the second bell was sold to Huyton? There is also a possibility of the old second bell ending up at St Ann’s Rainhill (q.v.) The first peal rung on the bells in 1845.
• 1934: Bells rehung and retuned by Taylor’s
• 1960s: Bells declared unringable. This is apparently due to an antique chair being stolen during a branch meeting, the vicar blaming the ringers, shut down the tower.
• 1980s: A test ring was organised but the spire was seen to be doing pirouettes on top of the tower.
• 1994: Tower restored and bells retuned and rehung by Whitechapel and Eayre & Smith respectively in a new metal frame lower in the tower. The old wooden frame remains in situ.

Pictures





www.bellsofliverpool.co.uk