Great Ellingham Bells

Great Ellingham Bells

Today, there are six bells at St James, Great Ellingham.

The tenor, or heaviest bell weighs 8.5 hundredweight or 410 kg approx, while the treble, or lightest bell weighs a little over 3 hundredweight.

The bells all hang from a heavy metal beam called a headstock. At one end of the headstock is a large wheel and at the other end there is a length of wood known as a stay. When the bell is upside-down, the stay engages with a moveable length of wood known as a slider. This allows the ringer to stop the bell at will.

The bells were last rehung (refurbished) in 2000 as a Millennium project. At this time the opportunity was taken to add another bell. This was made possible through the generosity of Bob and Shirley Howard-Alpe who are commemorated in the inscription on the bell.

Could I become a Ringer?

The answer is probably Yes!

Bellringing is well within the capabilities of most people. The initial teaching takes several weeks (at least four), after which a learner can begin to ring with the rest of the band. Most ringers practise once or twice a week and ring before or after church on Sunday.

“Being able to count is all the maths needed and you can become a very good ringer knowing nothing about music.”

Why learn to ring?

- A global group of friends.

- Lifelong learning experience.

- Maintain a traditional skill.

- A service to the church.

- Team activity.

- A great mental workout.

The opportunity to visit amazing places.


Come and see – and have a try…

Call Jeremy Warren on 07917 037369, or e-mail for more information.


The treble, or lightest bell in the ‘up’ or ‘set’ position. The stay may been seen on the left of the picture above, its lower end being engaged with the slider. The black polythene when is visible below the bell contains insulating material to lessen the level of sound in the Ringing Chamber.




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