Littleborough St Nicholas


The bellcote The 12th century bell The 14th century bell

There is a small bellcote at the west end of the church containing two bells in a double bell turret. The northern bell is inscribed 'SCA MARIA' (Sancta Maria) and was cast c.1180-1200. This is the oldest bell in Nottinghamshire. The southern bell is inscribed 'AVE MARIA' and dates from c.1350.

The treble bell is distinctive in having a flat surface on the inside of the lip, which tilts upwards and outwards, resulting from the founder's method of keying the heavy wax lip section to the core to prevent it from dropping into a horizontally moulded bell. The main proportions of the core deviate little from the standard shape evolved in the mid-11th century.

  Inscription Size Weight


18.25” 1.1.7


20.125” 1.2.18

Both bells were rehung with new headstocks and clappers in 1934, and the treble rehung in 1986.

The oldest bell, the treble, is inscribed with wax moulded letters. It is clear that each letter was made separately, cast in moulds from wax, as each ‘A’ is different. Stylistically, this bell is similar to one in Fontenailles in France which dates from 1202.

The other bell, the tenor, came from the medieval Nottingham foundry and is inscribed in D series capital letters. Both bells have their original canons.