For this church:
Woodborough St Swithun
The church tower contains a wooden frame which used to hold four bells. A fifth was added in 1985. The fittings on the larger four bells date from 1896. The treble and second have iron headstocks and the others wooden headstocks.
The treble was originally the third at Kinoulton and was cast by Edward Arnold of Leicester in 1794. It was brought to Woodborough in 1985 and installed by the Southwell Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers. It is 29.5" in diameter and weighs about 5cwt 2qtr 5lb. It is inscribed:
EDWARD ARNOLD LEICESTER FECIT 1794
The second was cast by Henry II Oldfield of Nottingham sometime between 1580 and 1602 and also weighs about 5cwt. It is dedicated to Queen Elizabeth I by the inscription:
GOD SAVE OVR QVEENE.
It is thought to have been rung to celebrate the defeat of the Spanish Armarda in 1588.
The third was recast by John Taylor in 1886 but the original was by George I Oldfield. A Nottingham builder who visited the church on 9th February 1818 noted that the bell was inscribed:
GOD SAVE HIS CHVRCH 1652
The present recast bell is 31.125 inches in diameter, weighs 6cwt 3lb and has the inscription on the waist:
PERCY SMITH & ETHEL PARKIN,
The fourth was cast by Henry I Oldfield of Nottingham and is the oldest bell in the tower, made reputedly in the reign of Queen Mary between 1553 and 1558 and possibly in 1556 when the tower was built. The bell still has its canons, the loops on the top of the casting, which were used to fasten the bell to the headstock using wrought iron straps. The tone is flatter and less pleasing than others in the tower, but it seems cannot be retuned due to its age. It is thought to weigh 6cwt. The bell is known locally as ‘The Pancake Bell’ on account of it being rung on Shrove Tuesday always just before 11am to call local people to the pancake races traditionally held on Roe Lane. Originally this task fell to the youngest apprentice from the village. The inscription is:
IHS MARIA IOHANNES STS
The fifth may have been made orginally by William Noone of Nottingham but was recast by John Taylor and Co in 1896 retaining the original main inscription. It is hung on a wooden headstock, is 38 inches in diameter and weighs 9cwt 5lb and is tuned to G#. The recasting date matches the time of the restoration of the tower, and Carolus Lawcock is probably Charles Laycock of Woodborough who died in 1688. The inscription is:
DONUS SANCTIS SWITHINIS CAROLUS LAWCOCK ESQ 1680
The ‘School Bell’ that once hung in the bell tower of the original Woodborough Woods school, which later became the Vicarage, was rehung in the belfry in July 2002.
For further information on the bells see the Woodborough Heritage website.