Bell Ringing

Bell ringing in St Oswald’s Ashbourne
St Oswald’s has a ring of eight bells, the weight of which ranges from
14cwt( for the heaviest bell, called the tenor) to 5cwt ( for the smallest bell
called the treble). The bells are unusual in that they are rung from the
crossing at ground level, the ropes being 75 ft long with terylene tops to
reduce their stretch and make for easier handling; A metal frame provides
guides through which the ropes pass,which also helps to make handling the
bells easier.
The present bells were cast in the key of F in 1815 by William Dobson of
Downham Market and hang in a teak frame. They replaced a ring of 6 bells
installed in 1664, the heaviest of which was 17cwt 17lb. When these were
removed from the tower in 1815 at least two of them went on to be used in
local churches, namely Blore Ray and Derby Cathedral, and it is likely that
metal from the others was used in the bells of nearby Tissington Church.
The bells are rung regularly for two services each Sunday, for weddings
and for special services such as Ordinations. Over sixty peals have been
rung, a peal being what is called 5040 changes of a particular method and
lasting over three hours, generally for a special occasion. The latest peal
was in May this year to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of H.M. Queen
Elizabeth the second
Bell practice is on Wednesday evenings and anyone who would like to
join the bell ringers, whether novice or experienced, is welcome to join us.
CONTACT Kath Brown, tel 343201,
Jackie Burns, tel 370782,