The Bells

There are nine bells in all.   At the top of the tower at roof level, sits the tolling bell. This is known as the Sloman Bell, named after the man responsible for raising the 800 pounds necessary to purchase the original set of bells in the early 1850s.  The tolling bell can be rung from the Cathedral entrance and may be used by the Clergy as a call to worship for the Monday to Saturday Services. It may also be used in support of a funeral or an appropriate community event.

The remaining eight change ringing bells are hung in the Bell Chamber immediately below the tower roof.  They are tuned as a diatonic major scale and when rung in the simplest way possible, create the notes of a falling scale.   The louvres fitted on each of the four sides of the Bell Chamber enable the sound of the Bathurst Bells to be projected about 4 kilometres on a normal day.  They are cast in bell metal, which is an amalgam of copper and tin, and depending on pitch, individual bell weights vary from 186 to 603 kilograms. All are housed in a circular metal frame.  An oak wheel is attached to each bell, around which the bell rope is fitted.  This is fed down through guides to the ringing chamber below where the eight ropes fall into the shape of a circle.

The original 6 bells were returned, with the aid of a heritage grant, to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1992 to be retuned, and then later to be fitted with cast headstocks by Eayre and Smith.  The additional three bells required to form a peal of eight in the new tower were cast by Taylor’s Bell Foundry in Northampton in 2004.

The bell specifications (confirmed by Andrew Higson of Taylor, Eayre and Smith Ltd on 17 June 2009) follow – the three new bells are marked with *:

Bell

Diameter

Height

Imperial Weight

Metric Weight

Treble*

610mm

490mm

3-2-18

186kg

Second*

635mm

510mm

4-0-4

205kg

Third

679mm

505mm

3-3-22

201kg

Fourth

733mm

546mm

4-3-21

251kg

Fifth

768mm

572mm

5-2-20

289kg

Sixth

860mm

664mm

7-1-22

379kg

Seventh

914mm

686mm

9-0-21

467kg

Tenor*

991mm

792mm

11-3-14

603kg

Tolling bell

940mm

660mm

7-3-1

395kg

 

Bell

Note

Name

Treble*

A flat – 24 cents

Bolam Family

Second*

G – 20 cents

T J Sargeant Family

Third

F – 15 cents

Barlow Family

Fourth

E flat – 17 cents

Hallstrom Family

Fifth

D flat – 14 cents

Holcroft Family

Sixth

C – 19 cents

Hurford Family

Seventh

B flat – 14 cents

Yeates – Wiburd

Tenor*

A flat – 21 cents

McNeil Family

Tolling bell

A flat – 20 cents

Sloman

 

 

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