Church Bells

The Bells of St Peter, Hanwell

In September 2008, for the first time in over ten years the bells of St Peter will be heard again on a regular basis.

The bells outside the churchThanks to generous contributions, funds have been raised for the repair and re-hanging of the existing five bells and for the addition of a sixth bell. The existing five bell peal were taken down on Tuesday 6th May. After an overnight stay in the church, which allowed villagers an opportunity to to see the bells at close hand, the bells left the village the following morning.

The bells were taken to Whites of Appleton the bellhangers, from where two of the bells will be taken to Southwold, Suffolk for repair.  On return to Appleton, the two newly repaired bells along with the other three bells that make up the five bell peal will be taken to The Whitechapel Foundry, London. There they will be united with the “Beecroft Bell” for the first time.  The six bells will then be tuned, before returning once more to Appleton.

The Beecroft Bell in its cast The six bell peal will then be assembled in a new cast iron frame and tested. After testing the assembly will be dismantled and transported back to Hanwell for hanging in September.

This picture (far left) taken on March 14th 2008 at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London, is of Hanwell’s new bell in its cast, in which it stayed over the following weekend to cool off. The second picture shows the bell when its cast was removed early the next week.

The bells will be taken to Whites of Appleton, where they were repaired and tuned. Whilst this was happening the sixth bell was cast at the Whitechapel Foundry, London.

The new six bell peal can now be heard ringing out over the village and the Service of Dedication, led by the Bishop of Oxford, of the restored church bells was held on 5th April 2009.

If you are interested in ringing the new peal, or would like to learn to ring, please contact Philip Ledger (Tel: 01295 738 174)

The new Beecroft Bell being cast is shown on TV
The bell, to be known as ‘The Beecroft Bell’, was produced in the Foundry that also produced Big Ben, The Liberty Bell, and the bells of St Paul’s!

We were able to watch the bell being cast on Channel 5, who filmed at the Foundry. The Beecroft Bell featured in the programme “How Do They Do It?”, which was shown in early April 2009 on Channel 5.