St Helen's Tower Page

The Bells of St Helen's

The tower is believed to date from the 15th Century and still contains three ancient bells, the oldest being undated but from the founder's mark (the Seliok family) is believed to date from around 1530.  These three bells were made up to a ring of six during the church restoration under Revd. Charles Harrison in 1905, the ring being hung in a wooden frame with iron side frames.  By the early 1980s the effects of death watch beetle had seriously weakened the supporting timbers and it was necessary to remove the bells from the tower and rehang them in a new eight-bell steel frame in which the old iron side frames were reused.  Ringing resumed in 1983 after a break of over a year.  The ring was augmented to eight by the separate donations of two new treble bells in 1983 and 1985.  The three ancient bells are believed to have been cast by the Long Row foundry in Nottingham, the three bells added in 1905 were cast by Barwells of Birmingham and the two new trebles by Eijsbouts of Asten in the Netherlands.  The dates, approximate weights and tuning of the bells are shown in the following table:


The Bells Year Weight (cwt-qtr-lb) Tuning
Treble 1985 4-0-0 F
Second 1983 4-1-0 E
Third 1905 4-2-0 D
Fourth 1905 5-0-0 C
Fifth c 1530 6-0-0 Bb
Sixth 1905 7-2-0 A
Seventh 1622 10-0-0 G
Tenor 1704 12-2-0 F


The inscriptions on the bells are as shown below:


The Bells



James Rawson 1862 - 1949


In memory of Vera, wife of Ed. Wood. d.1968

Eijsbouts Astensis me fecit 1983


The Children's Bell 1905

The Children did well and purchased this bell


Bible Union Bell 1905

Let my music be heard, in praise of the Word


Gabriel I.S.


Church Council Bell 1905

For this church restored, give thanks to the Lord


I sweetly toling men do call,

to taste the meats that feeds the soule 1622


God save his church 1704

William Wood    Francis Cheetham



Belfry looking NE:  Bells are Fourth (front),           Belfry looking SE:  Bells are Fourth (front),

Fifth (left), Sixth (background)                         Tenor, Treble (rung down), Seventh (background)




Link to:  Bell Ringing at St Helen's today