Church Bells

St John the Baptist, Plymtree

CHURCH BELLS

The Church of St John the Baptist has a peal of six bells.  There is a record of at least three bells in the tower in 1432, but none of these exists today.  The oldest surviving bell dates from 1549.


Details of Plymtree Bells

Diameter

Weight

Cwt qrs lbs

Inscription

Maker

Date

Tenor

4’ 438

11 0 8

(1240lbs)

(recast)

EDWARD OFFSPRING HOLWELL, MINISTER JOHN DIMOND, BENJAMIN PARIS, CHURCH-WARDENS

J MEARS OF LONDON FECIT 1829

Thomas Mears II, London

1829

5th

2’ 11”

7 2 23

(863lbs)

JOHN TILLEY CHRISTOPHER BAKER CHURCH-WARDENS.

T P XON 1669

Thomas Pennington III, Exeter

1669

4th

2’ 8”

6 0 18

(690lbs)

AVE MARIA GRATIA PLENIA, RS

Roger Semson, Ash Prior

1549

3rd

2’ 712

5 3 4

(648lbs)

EDWARD OFFSPRING HOLWELL RECTOR

THOMAS MEARS OF LONDON 1826

WM BRICE,

EDWARD MIDDLETON CHURCH WARDENS ERECTED 1826

Thomas Mears II

1826

2nd

2’ 518

4 3 23

(555lbs)

(Recast from previous bell 648lbs)

CONCORDIA RESONAT

EDWARD OFFSPRING HOLWELL RECTOR

T. MEARS OF LONDON

CHARLES HARWARD,

THOMAS GRIFFIN

CHURCH WARDENS.

ERECTED AND RAISED BY SUBSCRIPTION

AD 1826

Thomas Mears II

1826

Treble

2' 414

4 2 14

(546lbs)

MEARS & STAINBANK WHITECHAPEL FOUNDRY, LONDON 1895

Mears & Stainbank, London

1895

Bell Frame

(The following description is taken from a report by Whitechapel Bell Foundry, 11 June 2009)

The bellframe is of oak and was manufactured by Harry Stokes of Woodbury in 1895. It stands 3'9" high and is of conventional design and construction incorporating horizontal top and bottom timbers with diagonal braces and queen posts between. Due to lack of space within the belfry gallows ends have been incorporated at the north ends of the 5th and 4th pits, the west end of the 2nd pit and the east end of the treble pit.

The frame is designed to accommodate the six bells upon one level with the tenor, 5th and 4th bells swinging north/south whilst the 3rd, 2nd and treble swing east/west (the strong way of the tower).

The bell frame takes its bearing upon the belfry floor which comprises 2" thick timber boards spanning the tower north/south plus five beams spanning east/west running from the principle foundation beams to wall plates resting upon an off-set on the east and west walls.

Vertical tie bolts have been fitted down through the main diagonal braces to hold the joints into compression and angle plates and strap bolts have been fitted adjacent to other joists for the same purpose. As it was not possible to insert vertical tie bolts through the frame side adjacent to the south wall a series of ingeniously formed strap bolts and dogs have been attached in place.



These were refurbished in 2011 - see details of the work undertaken. The photos below show some of the parts awaiting refitting.

For information about the bellringers please see Bellringers.