Bells and Bellringing

Bells and Bellringing

Only the main points are given here. A booklet by Kevon Thompson entitled 'The Bells and Bellringers of Barrow-on-Soar' is available in the reference section of the County Library in the village. The booklet contains much more detail on the following subjects: Bell hanging, bell handling, change ringing, local associations,70 photographs, list of all Barrow ringers since 1945, weights and dimensions of Barrow bells, ringing traditions, hand-bell ringing, competition ringing and general history.

The picture above shows the bells of Holy Trinity 'set-up' and ready for ringing.

The oldest bell in the tower is the present tenor (the bell with the lowest note). It was cast by George Oldfield of Nottingham in 1620 and weighs 10cwt. (the ringing fraternity still use Imperial weight measures!). The next oldest bells are the present 6th and 7th which were cast by Hugh Watts of Leicester in 1642. The current 5th bell is something of a mystery as the only inscription is '1822' but is thought to have been cast by Thomas Mears of London. The remaining four bells are all post-World War II and were cast at the Taylor foundry in Loughborough.

It is known that there were 5 bells in the tower in 1787 and that the ringers rang changes because the Leicester Journal had a series of reports which described the fierce rivalry between the Barrow and Sileby bands in competition ringing.

In 1868, the tower became unsafe and the bells were removed. The tower collapsed just before Christmas in that year. The tower was rebuilt and reopened in 1870 with the 5 bells in a new oak frame. In 1946, a new treble bell was added to form a ring of 6 bells. The new bell was the gift of the Towle family - the local Hosiery Manufacturers.

In 1972, the old tenor bell of 1699 (approximately 13cwt.) was broken up to provide metal for three new small bells. These form part of the present ring of 8 bells. Again, the Towle family were the benefactors in this work.

The way in which the bells are hung and rung is mainly peculiar to England. The bells of Barrow have been ringing out for 360 years.
In our web page for 2003, there was a warning that this great tradition may come to an end due to the dwindling number of ringers. All eight bells were rung together only rarely and sometimes not at all on Sundays. The services of any former ringers in the area were requested to help ensure that the long tradition of ringing in Barrow did not die out.
More ringers are still required and the request for more former ringers still stands.

At present, the bells are rung, when possible at 10:00am before each Sunday morning service.
Practices are held on Thursday evenings from 6:30pm to 7:30pm. Visitors are welcome but are advised to check before travelling that a practice will be held on a particular evening.

Service ringing and practices:

Tower Captain:
Ian Stonehouse 01509 412411, 07850 675014

General Secretary:
Valerie Thompson...01509 413403
(Arrangements for visiting ringers etc.)

More information about bellringing generally may be obtained from the following web sites:
Leicester Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers:
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers:

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Last Updated. 10-October-2021 By Admin

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