The tower and bells

The tower stands 115' tall and houses ten bells hung for change ringing, plus the church clock

The most striking feature of the exterior of the church is the Tower, the height of which from the finials on the massive pinnacles to the floor of the nave is 115 feet (34.8 metres). These pinnacles are 4ft. 3ins. in diameter at the base and 23ft. 6ins. high. The outside buttresses of the tower are finished at the level of the belfry, with niches in each of which is a stone statue of an angel playing a musical instrument.

The ground-floor room in the Tower is the Church Office (formerly the Baptistry until 1990). A circular stone staircase leads from the Narthex (at the west-end of the Church) to the ringing chamber. The staircase is not built in the thickness of the wall, but stands clear of it, and is roofed with a small stone spire. A door at the top leads into the ringing chamber in which hang the ropes for the bells and the chiming apparatus for the clock. The deep windows are fitted with seats.

Above the ringing chamber is the clock room, accessed by a steep wooden staircase. In this room are the workings of the clock. The ropes pass through this room in wooden chutes. A twisting wooden staircase leads to the ceiling of the clock room, where a trap door gives access to the belfry, in which hang the ten bells. An iron ladder leads up past the 5th bell to a gallery from which the bells can be viewed.

The belfry has eight traceried and transomed two-light windows filled with slate louvres which allow the sound of the bells to be heard outside. From the gallery, a two-flight wooden staircase leads to the roof. The tower is finished by a lead flat, 89 feet from the floor of the nave and some feet below the parapet. In order to obtain views of the surrounding area, a small ladder has been provided.

Rising from the flat is a massive aluminium flag pole 40 feet high, from which the St. George’s Cross is flown all year (except during Holy Week). On certain Saint’s days, the flag of that Saint is flown. The St George’s Cross is flown at half-mast on days of mourning, on Armistice Day and on Remembrance Sunday. The Union flag may be flown during times of national celebration, for example during 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

There is at present an active band ringing the ten bells. Numerous peals for special occasions have been rung and visiting bands are regularly welcomed and bell ringers may be booked to ring for weddings. Find out more about the bellringers.

A short clip of the bells being rung in October 2016.

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