Keyworth St Mary Magdalene

Bells

Bell frame

Bellringing has always been a feature of the church and the tower has carried three bells since the mid-17th century, the earliest of which dates from the late 16th century, when it may have been rung to celebrate victory over the Spanish Armada.

However, the tower has always had the capacity for a peel of six bells, and in 1992 a further three were installed at a cost of £10,000, covered generously by two benefactors.

The western tower with octagonal belfry contains a ring of six bells, as follows:

  Decoration & Inscription Maker Date Size Weight
Treble E 

Oak Leaves

Glory to God in the Highest.

Given by
Alick and Peggy Lun
and
John & Jennifer Davie

Taylors 1992 25 3.1.26
2 D

Oak leaves

God Save our Parish.

Bridgit Mary Pattinson

Taylors 1992 26.5 4.0.2
3 C

Oak leaves

God Save our Queen and Country

Stuart John Robert Pattinson

Taylors 1992 27.5 4.1.8
4 B

Running vine border

God Save His Church
W. Smith, W Seavvall, W. Rare

Oldfield 1652 29.5 4.2.1
5 A

Cable border

God Save the Church

Oldfield 1628 32.5 5.2.24
Tenor G God Save His Church Ovr Queen and Realme and Send vs Peace. Amen Quernbie Late C16 34.875 6.2.23

The six bells are hung in a cast iron frame for five bells with an extra low-sided pit above for the sixth bell, all by Taylors in 1933. All the back three bells are hung on canon-retaining metal headstocks and ball bearings. The three trebles were added in 1992.

The fourth and fifth were the work of George (I) Oldfield, the treble in the Commonwealth period. Both bells have the inscription in the small Roman letters in word blocks, the fifth having a cable border. The tenor (No. 6) is an Armada bell according to local tradition. The style of inscription certainly indicates a date after 1553 when Mary came to the throne, so the bell is likely to be the work of Robert Quernbie, the successor to Humphrey his father, who was in turn son-in-law to Robert Mellours.

Ringing here has not always been safe, for in December 1626 the churchwardens appeared in the Archdeacon’s Court “because there is no floore sufficient under the bells, one of the bell clappers fell through by reason of that defect and dangered the killing of a man”

A bell was recast here in 1608 for a local who appeared in the same court paying part of his assessment “towards the bells recasting”.