Gransden Church Bells & Training Centre


Great Gransden Church Bells

Bells have sounded from the tower since at least 1658 when a ring of six were installed, cast by Bryan Eldridge of Chertsey in Surrey. Over the centuries four of the original six have been re-cast or replaced.

Table of Weights,Size and Tuning

 No.  Diameter  Founder Date
 Cwt Kg
Note
 Treble  2' 4½" John Taylor & Co., Loughborough 1883
 4-2-7  219 
 D
 2  2' 6½" C & G Mears, London  1854 
 4-3-2  223
C
 3 2' 9¼"
Whitechapel Ltd, London  2000  7-0-19  364  Bflat 
 4  2' 11½" John Taylor & Co., Loughborough  1895  8-1-3  414 A
 5  3' 2½" Bryan Eldridge, Chertsey  1658  9-3-1  464 G
 Tenor  3' 7½" Islip Edmunds, London  1767  13-2-11  678 F
             
Old No 3 bell
2' 8½"  Bryan Eldridge, Chertsey  1658  6-2-0  317 B

More details can be found on the Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers website at http://dove.cccbr.org.uk/detail.php?DoveID=GREAT+GRAN&showFrames=true#frames

The treble, second and fourth bells were re-cast on the dates shown in the table.  All the bells except the old No3 were re-hung in a new bell frame in 2000. This bell remains in the original bell frame and was replaced by a newly cast bell at that time.

The tenor bell has an interesting history. It was original believed that it was cast by Robert Taylor at his foundry in St.Neots in 1787. A study of its history undertaken by Chris Pickford* revealed that it was more likely cast by Islip Edmunds of London for the church at Bletsoe in Bedfordhsire . Edmunds was Robert Taylor's foreman and so he would be familiar with the St.Neots foundry. This bell was returned to the foundry in St.Neots by the church authorities at Bletsoe as part of a re-casting scheme to make a lighter ring. It would appear that the tenor bell at Great Gransden was also in the foundry to be re-cast and was simply exchanged for the Edmunds’ bell. R TAYLOR FECIT is incised on the bell and the original inscription defaced but enough remains to almost certainly identify the bell’s origin.

*Full details can be found in The Tale of Great Gransden Tenor by C J Pickford – 12 Jan 1985, which is attached here with the permission of the author.

Inscriptions on the Bells

 Treble JOHN TAYLOR& CO: FOUNDERS LOUGHBOROUGH 1883
 2 C & G MEARS: FOUNDERS, LONDON 1854
 3 SING A NEW SONG TO THE LORD
GIVEN BY THE BELL RINGERS OF THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST.BARTHOLOMEW, GREAT GRANSDEN
REV’D CANON BRUCE CURRY B.A. – RECTOR
PHILLIP GEORGE, DONALD LESTER - CHURCHWARDENS
 4 VENITE EXULTIMUS DOMINO
HUNG BY G DAY & SON, EYE
A.J.EDMUNDS. VICAR
R.CHAPLIN, G.T.V.MARSHALL  -  CHURCHWARDENS
OCT. 1895
 5  BRYANUS ELDRIDGE ME FECIT 1658
 Tenor I EDMUNDS LONDON FECIT  THOS W..(incised inscription  R.TAYLOR FECIT 
obscuring former wording ….ALKER RECTOR  JOB NE….) …ALE  JOHN MAKEHAM CHURCH WARDENS 1767
   
Old No 3 bell BRYANUS ELDRIDGE ME FECIT 1658
   





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