St Mary


In the reign of Edward the Sixth, Plumtree church had a set of three bells plus a “lytle bell”, later sold. These bells were replaced by three bells cast in the early 17th century by Henry Oldfield and son George, owners of the Long Row Bellfoundry in Nottingham, then one of the major bellfounding centres of the Midlands. The bells were hung in the tower on a huge oak frame for full circle ringing.

When the tower had to be partially re-built in 1906-1907, the bells were re-hung by John Taylor of Loughborough on a new steel frame with new wheels and fittings. This cost £107. However, a large case built around the clock mechanism stopped the tenor bell being rung. A set of pulleys and ropes for clocking (chiming) the bells was fitted in 1953 by Taylor’s to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. In the 1980s, the tenor was turned round so that the bells could again be rung full circle.

The new tenor bell

In 1984 an appeal for £25,000 to purchase a new or second-hand peal of six bells was launched. Ultimately a ring of six bells was located at nearby Clifton, where the vibration of ringing had damaged the tower. Clifton wanted to buy a lighter ring of bells and sell their existing ones. Plumtree’s fund having reached £20,000, the Clifton bells were removed for retuning by Taylors at Loughborough, and ultimately installed in the tower at Plumtree.

Two additional bells were installed and dedicated in 2010 as a new treble and second..

The bells were as follows, until the new ones were added in 2010:

  Inscription Size Weight
1 O come let us sing out to the Lord
Waist:   A.D.1894
29.5" 5.0.24
2 my roaring sound doth warning give that men cannot heare always lyve 1603
Waist: As 2
31.75" 6.1.20
3 my roaring sound doth warning give that men cannot heare always lyve 1603
Waist: As 2
34.5" 8.0.4


Waist:  As 2, plus the Clifton Crest

36.125" 9.2.4
5 my roaring sound doth warning give that men cannot heare always lyve 1603
Waist: As 2
40.5" 12.2.2

6 E

The love of Christ constraineth us
R.W.Wynne Ffoulkes,   Rector
Henry Robert Clifton   Churchwardens
George Wooton  
45.375" 16.2.12

Hung in the rebuilt cast-iron H-frame for six bells, with metal headstocks and ball bearings.

The three old bells were:

  Inscription Size Weight
1 JESUS BE OUR SPEED 1609 33.5" 6.1.18
2 all men that heare my mornfull sound repent before you lye in ground 1620 36" 8.2.2
3 F# my roaringe sound doth warning give that men cannot heare always lyve 1621 39" 9.3.1

They were hung for full circle ringing in a low sided metal frame for three bells but set out for eight by Taylors in 1906. The bells were in a minor key.

The treble was the work of Henry II Oldfield and the second and tenor bells were cast by George I Oldfield, the second being one of the earliest bells with George’s badge upon it.

Of these three old bells, the tenor was re-used as the tenor of the ring at Clarborough. The second has become the tenor at Scarrington, and the treble is the new tenor at Papplewick.