Bell Ringing

Beetham Tower Bells
Chiming bells with a rope and lever was a common practice in the Middle Ages, but it was not until the 17th century that ringers developed the full wheel which allowed enough control for orderly ringing.  The first recorded bell at Beetham was installed in 1663, and the full ring of six bells completed in 1890.  A new frame was installed and all six bells were re-hung in 1999, as part of the lottery funded 'Ringing in the Millennium' refurbishment project at 100 churches in time for 1 January 2000
Although change ringing has become more sophisticated since Mediaeval times, the reasons for bellringing have not changed - to summon people to church, to celebrate the joy of weddings and victories, and to mark the passing of life


Arrival of the 3 smaller Jubilee Bells in 1890

History of the Beetham Bells

1663 Earliest recorded bell at Beetham.  Founder unknown 

1684 'Middle bell' cast at Kendal by William Whitwell.  First recorded use of the bell-house in Kendal Churchyard

1748 'Great bell' recast at Gloucester by Abel Rudhall

1880 The two earliest bells were recast by Taylor of Loughborough

1890 3 new smaller bells added (2 at an upper level) by Mears & Stainbank of the Whitechapel foundry

1999 All six bells re-hung in a new steel frame on one level by Taylor 

Learning to Ring

If you can count to six and would like to learn to ring at Beetham, please come and see us in the Belltower on a Sunday morning between 9.30-10.00, contact Jenny on 015395 62559, or come along to our practice night on a Monday between 7.30-8.30pm (please check the What's On page in case of cancellation).





Beetham Hand Bells

Originally used to practice Tower Bell methods without disturbing the community, Beetham has a lovely set of thirty seven handbells.  Two octaves are thought to have been made at the same time as the Mears and Stainbank tower bells, and in recent years these have been augmented with a further eleven Whitechapel handbells.

There is a thriving handbell group, meeting every Thursday evening.  The team regularly performs at local care homes, festivals and rallies, and is in great demand at Christmas for a number of events.  Each player generally plays one bell in each hand, but the smaller bells can be rung (with some practice!) with two bells in each hand


Look out for details of our performances on the What's On page, or contact Jenny Marks on 015395 62559