The Bells of St Andrew's Church





Local Projects
Famous Residents
Parish Council
Out and About
Village Hall
Weather Data
Poetic Licence
Through the Ages
External Links









Bell Restoration, finishing touches!

Roger Bowen, Tower Captain of the Bell Ringers at St. Andrew’s Church, Bredwardine, assisted Paul Mason from Hayward Mills, the Bells Contractors, in fitting new ropes to the recently restored bells.  The new ropes are beautiful; very rich and elegant in the captain’s choice of colours: gold and black. The ringing-team were very impressed and delighted to “christen” the new ropes in May 2009 at a Wednesday night’s practice.   

Fitting of the new ropes is the final stage of the Bell Restoration project begun almost three years ago. At that time a programme of fund-raising was started.  The object was to raise sufficient money for several reasons.  1) Install a new Bell Frame because the ancient wooden frame had been considered unsafe, 2) Completely restore the peal of six bells, silent for many years,  3) Recast and retune the broken tenor bell  and 4) Hang a medieval bell separately as a single tolling bell.  The final project objective which remains to be completed is to install a seat / cupboard in the bell-tower room.

new bell ropes


Bell Restoration, a labour of love!

In 2007 the bells of St Andrew's had been silent for nearly 10 years. Over the centuries, the oak frames supporting them suffered attack by boring beetles and wood-rotting fungi and while parts had been replaced, in some cases by steel, eventually the structure was no longer considered safe. The Parochial Church Council raised funds sufficient to: refurbish the tower, remove the bells, replace the bell frame, have the bells tuned, replace the tenor bell, rehang the bells, and to reorganise the tower to provide a ringing room on the first floor, with a sound-proofed ceiling.

Double Celebration! On Sunday 7th October 2007, the Harvest Festival was combined with the Re-dedication of the Church Bells at St Andrew’s Church, Bredwardine with Brobury. The Bishop of Hereford, the Right Reverend Anthony Priddis, officiated at the Service. The church was completely full with a few in the congregation required to sit at the base of the Font.

After leading a procession into the Tower, the Bishop gave thanks for all the craftsmanship and skill that had restored and renewed the bells and tower, and to all those who had contributed to the work and who would ring the bells. The bells then rang out to celebrate the end of ten years of dedicated fund raising and effort to make the 900 year old Church watertight and structurally sound. It has been a long journey for the small communities of Bredwardine and Brobury, raising over £140,000 for a number of projects including new roofing, porch repairs, re-pointing and repairs to the ancient stonework, and window repairs.

The project involved not only the skilled contractors but teams of volunteers from the community who heroically balanced on ladders and scaffolding to help undertake the work, all the while supported by friends and family who brought sustenance for the workers. Truly a team effort!

The bells were removed from the tower in February 2007 with Paul from Hayward Mills supervising the village "team", and they were finally replaced in June 2007. See the photos below:


Removing the bells from St Andrew's, February 2007

Removing stave Wheels off
Almost thro the hatch Lower away On the truck
Lift and slide out truck Bells on flat bed trailer Part of the crew


Bells at Hayward Mills Workshop, Nottingham and returning to Brobury

Bells at Hayward Mills Bells being unloaded at Brobury


Replacing the bell frame, April 2007

Steel for frame arrives Steel girder from Trailer to Trolley Manhandling girder to tower
Assembling the steel frames Girder uo thro hatch First Girder in place
The steel frame grows Paul and Mick guiding girder The frame nearly complete



Rehanging the re-cast bells, June 2007 along with the historic Brobury Bell, which was made in 1385.

Refurbished bells

Thro the hatch

Skeleton floor on steel frame

Final adjustments

Fitting a stave


Commissioning the bells, June 29 2007


Sound-proofed floor Paul leads first peal Rapt ringers
The new sound-proofed ceiling
Paul leads the first peal
Ring out those bells!


In June, the Bells were blessed! The major event of the month for our villages was the sound of church bells ringing out from St. Andrew’s. Enthusiastic bell ringers helped to check the final fitting and adjustment of the bells and ropes. It was a moving moment and drew a group of awestruck villagers to the church to marvel at the event! In June, the bells were rung again. This time to bless a wedding.


Return to Top

Last updated: February 4, 2010