The Tower is 24 ft. wide and 80 ft. high. The lower part is probably in large measure of the thirteenth century church, but in 1661 it was almost in ruins, was restored, and raised to its present height.
There are twelve bells in the belfry, the oldest of which is a small bell, in use since at least 1537, which was formerly attached to the Bellingham Chapel where it was probably used as a Sanctus Bell. Later it was rung to call the boys to school in the medieval Grammar School (the lovely building on the North side of the churchyard) and became known as the ‘Tinkler’; at this time it was chipped round the rim by boys who used to throw stones at it. It was removed to the tower in 1804 and, after several subsequent moves, is now back in the tower.
In 1576 there were three bells in the tower, one of which weighed 35 cwt. It is said that it took three men to ring it. In 1631 two further bells were added. In 1695 the fifth bell was cracked, and so it was recast, and a sixth added at the same time. In 1774 the Tenor was cracked and it was melted and recast into three bells, making a total of eight. In 1816 the fifth of this peal was cracked. It too was recast, and two further bells were added, making a peal of ten, this work serving as a Thanks Offering from the town for the peace following the Battle of Waterloo. Then in 1891 the 10 bells were retuned and hung in their present frame by J Taylor & Co, Loughbourgh.
A recent addition, is a bell dated 1856. It came from our daughter Church, All Hallows, Fellside, which closed in July 2002. It was moved to Holy Trinity soon after, but was put in storage until it could be installed. In June 2007 it was hoisted up the outside of the tower and lowered through the roof and hung ‘dead’ (non swinging). It has a diameter of 22 inches, is used as a Sanctus Bell and is electrically operated.
The Bells their voices raise,
O May they call Thy servants nigh
and utter forth Thy praise.
O Christ be Thou our Strength,
though the day be long.
For old and young the bells at length
must ring for evensong.
The ringers in the old pub sign (now situated in the North Aisle) appear to be standing in their original bell loft, the floor being level with the sill of the West window at a height of 15 ft from the ground. A doorway – cut out from the stairs now used to reach the higher room – is still left in its old place, its well-worn stone threshold reminding one of old Kendal ringers. The men and their belfry – and the jug – have gone, but very interesting facts about them are still preserved.
- WE ALWAYS NEED ANOTHER BELLRINGER TO JOIN OUR TEAM.
ANY HEALTHY PERSON CAN LEARN THIS ANCIENT ART.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN OUR TEAM OR FIND OUT MORE,
COME AND SEE US IN OUR BELLTOWER.
- OUR TOWER SECRETARY IS:
Mrs E Jackson, 12 Appleby Road, Kendal.
Tel. 01539 737175
- WE RING ON SUNDAYS 8.45am – 9.30am & 4.30pm – 6.00pm on 4th SUNDAYS
(BUT PLEASE CHECK FIRST)
AND WE PRACTISE ON WEDNESDAYS AT 7.30pm