All Saints' Church, Gresford

The Gresford Bells

The earliest record of the bells is to be found in the parish register commencing 1714. The note is as follows:

“On Friday the 8th day of December, in the year 1775, the tenor third and treble bells were returned being recast at Gloucester”.

Cwt
Qtr
Lbs
The tenor
22
3
15
The third
10
3
5
The treble
7
2
19
An article in the parish magazine for February 1873 lists six bells:
It is possible that the tenor bell of 1775 was replaced in 1836 by two bells, thereby increasing the number from five to six. An entry in the Church wardens’ books suggests an increase was made but the dates are not clear.

In 1875 the tenor bell was found to be cracked and the two oldest bells were so badly damaged that they needed to be replaced. In addition to replacing the damaged bells two smaller bells were cast to make a ring of eight.

The bells are inscribed:

Following the augmentation of the bells to eight in 1875, a note in the parish magazine of December 1876 appealed for additional contributions to cover the cost of the glazing of the windows in the tower, the replacement of the clock and the installation of a chiming apparatus.

Gresford Bells
The magazine for April 1877 reported that an apparatus had been put in the belfry by which all eight bells could be chimed by one person. This is used to chime the bells for services when it is not possible to assemble enough people to ring them. Using the chimes it is possible to ring hymn tunes and carols. Click below to listen to the bells.

The last major refurbishment of the bells was carried out by Mears and Stainbank in 1954. It was then that the old wooden headstocks were removed and the “crowns” cut off the bells. The headstocks were replaced with cast iron and the bells were rehung on ball bearings which had been fitted in 1937. The only bell remaining with its original crown and a wooden headstock is the “Parsons” or “Prayer” bell which is inscribed “GOD SAVE HIS CHURCH”.
The weight of the tenor bell is estimated to be 1.2 tonnes (24 cwt). The total weight of the bells is approximately 4.7 tonnes The oak bell frame in which the bells are hung was installed in 1884.

The details of the bells are as follows:
Bell
Weight
Note
Diameter
Date
Founder
1
6 cwt
D
30.50"
1875
John Warner & Sons
2
6½ cwt
C♯
32.25"
1875
John Warner & Sons
3
7½ cwt
B
33.75"
1775
Thomas Rudhall
4
8¾ cwt
A
36.25"
1875
John Warner & Sons
5
10¼ cwt
G
39.25"
1775
Thomas Rudhall
6
12½ cwt
F♯
42.63"
1875
John Warner & Sons
7
15¾ cwt
E
45.75"
1836
Thomas II Mears
8
24-0-3
D
51.38"
1875
John Warner & Sons
Priest's
1 cwt
B♭
17"
c. 1615
William Clibury

In January 2006 work was completed on the installation of four additional bells which were installed in the tower by Eayre & Smith Limited. Theses bells being much lighter than famous eight bells, have enabled young children from the village to learn to handle a bell and join the band of ringers.

Gresford New Bells
Gresford New Bells
The details of the newer bells are as follows:
Bell
Weight
Note
Diameter
Date
Founder
1
3-3-10
A
23.88"
2005
Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd
2
3-3-20
G♯
24.38"
2005
Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd
3
4-1-26
F♯
25.50"
2005
Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd
4
4-3-25
E
28"
2005
Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd

The light bells have been so successful that an order has been placed with Taylors of Loughborough for the installation of another two bells to create an independent ring of six bells.

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