Cluster Bells

The Bells of The Atlantic Coast Cluster

There are six Churches in the Atlantic Coast Cluster, three of these Churches have magnificent peals of Bells.

St Piran's

St Carantoc

St Agnes



A handwritten framed note dated 1850 hangs in the ringing chamber records the following: -

Tenor  by   Thomas Lester 1748   7cwt approx

 5th.        _____ do.________      5cwt approx.

4th       C  &  G  Mears  1850   4—0—8

 3rd        ______do._________    3 – 2 – 26

 2nd      ______do.__________    2 — 1 — 17

 Treble       ______do.__________   3 —0 —21

It further records that, “the bells are hung above one another, first 2, then 3 and then 1 and that they were all cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.”

The next similarly recorded note dated 1905 records the following changes:-

No.      DIAM.             NOTE                         WEIGHT

           Ft. “                                                     Cwt.Qrs.Lbs.

1      1 - 10                G                             2 —0 — 20

2     2 -  01/8                     F                     2 — 3 — 4

3     2 - 21/8                      Eflat                3 — 2 — 11

4    2 - 35/8                          D                 4 — 10 —15

5    2 - 61/8                         C                  5 — 3 — 26

6    2 - 91/2                         Bflat             6 — 2 — 23



BY John Taylor & Co. 1905

These are the bells we ring to day and they have been rehung twice since 1905, once by Taylors in 1975 and again by Nicholson’s Engineers in 2001 when the frame was removed, mended as necessary and thoroughly cleaned.

As before, but perhaps somewhat differently, the bells are hung in 2 tiers with the tenor and 4th. beneath the other four. At the 2000 it became clear that the ring of 6 bells was at its inception an ambitious project. The tower/steeple provide tight housing and in order to make the bell installation fit, the bells swing into the louvres, the top “H” frame is rotated on the bottom frame and “Hastings” stays are fitted. The latter allow for a bell which is “up” with its mouth to the sky to rest back slightly on this wooden rest or stay.

 The bells are perhaps louder than is ideal both inside the ringing chamber where a good 30cm of “rock wool” acts as a sound insulation and outside where all but the south facing louvres are fixed with boards which mainly cover the aperture. Their sound is however welcomed by locals and visitors alike when they are rung for all Sunday services, other Church events, national events, weddings and practice night.

Bellringers - generally and here at St. Agnes - they are an organised bunch having a captain, deputy, tower correspondent/secretary and someone who is DBS checked to allow minor and/or vulnerable adults to be taught and included. Meetings are held annually and the minutes book dating back to 1905 is currently held by the tower captain carefully wrapped in acid free paper reflecting what a precious document it is.

PRACTICE NIGHT is Monday from 19.30 - 21.00. Method and call changes are rung and all visitors whatever their standard of ringing are most welcome. All St. Agnes ringers are members of the Truro Diocesan Guild of Ringers and therefore you are directed to the TDGR website for additional information and for the enquiry form which goes straight to the tower secretary.

Want to Learn to Ring/Return to Ringing/simply curious? Bellringers have known for years that ringing is a healthy thing to do. It is sociable, it requires concentration and focus and it is reasonable exercise more so if your ringing chamber is up many spiral steps. St. Agnes is a ground floor ring and not heavy at all.

Bell Weights - continue to be measured in avoirdupois, the British standard based on the weight of a grain of barley (money was based on the weight of a grain of wheat but this is for you to explore probably via Google). Briefly, there are 16 ounces per pound, 14 pounds in a stone, 8 stone in a hundred weight and 2 stone in a quarter from which you can understand that in days of yore, Brits loved working in different bases!

Into Kgs. - or base 10, the treble weighs 244lbs. or approx. 110.91kgs. and the tenor weighs 751lbs. or approx. 341.36kgs.

Annie Holland, Tower Captai

November 2018


St John the Baptist, and St Michael have a single Bell

St Cubert has three Bells which are chimed.