Bell Ringing

The bells of St. Mary Magdalene

St. Mary Magdalene in Stoke Bishop, Bristol has a ring of 6 bells cast by the Whitechapel Foundry in London in 1978. The lightest of the bells (called the “treble”) weighs 3 cwt (“hundredweight”) tuned to G and the heaviest (known as the “tenor”) weighs 7¾ cwt and is tuned to Bb. A complete list of the bells and their inscriptions is included below.

History of the bells

BellsThe first bells in Stoke Bishop were cast by John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough and rung for the first time in September 1874. After an enforced silence during the second world war, ringing was restarted under the leadership of Dr Robin Brocklehurst (Churchwarden 1939-60), recruiting the ringers from within St Mary's. Since then the bells have been rung regularly for Sunday services, weddings and practices.
Shortly after the bells' centenary year, St Mary's PCC took the decision to have the bells recast in a lighter peal which would be more suitable for a church in a built-up area. The operation was to cost £8,500 and an appeal was launched in October 1977 to fund it. Because the bells are appreciated by more than just those who come to church, the appeal was extended to everyone in the parish, and it is a measure of the esteem in which the bells are held that over £5,000 (£30,000 in today's terms) had been given or covenanted in 16 days and the whole sum raised by the end of the year. The new bells were cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The original wooden frame was replaced by a cast iron one and lowered to its current position. The bells were upgraded from plain bearing to the current set of ball bearings and will serve Stoke Bishop for many more generations.


Links to other sites

St Mary Magdalene is a member of Bristol branch of The Gloucester & Bristol Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers.

We are also governed by The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers.


The bells have traditionally been used to ring out to call worshippers to the church every Sunday morning and on Sunday evenings whenever there is a service. There is a small band of ringers who also ring for weddings, Christmas and New Year and at other times as required. The band meets to practise bi-monthly on the second and fourth Thursday of the month.  

Ringing Times:
Sunday morning                               10:00am  (by prior arrangement only)
Sunday evening                                6:00pm    (by prior arrangement only)
2nd & 4th Thursday practice          7.30pm - 9.00pm

Visiting ringers are welcome with prior consent.

For further information please contact Simon Tomlinson (Tower Contact) on 0117 962 4020 or the Church Office on 0117 968 7449 or email

Details of The Bells of St. Mary Magdalene


Weigh (cwt-qtrs-lbs)






Laudate Dominum In Coelis
In thankfulness for all Ringers of this Church




Laudate Eum In Excelsis
In thankfulness for all Vergers of this church




Laudate Eum Omnes Angeli Ejus
In joyful memory of James Benet Bennett 1977




Laudate Eum Omnes Virtutes Ejus
In joyful memory of Winifred Mary Codrington 1977




Laudate Eum In Firmamento Virtutis
In joyful memory of Henry Louis Bothamley 1976




Omnis Spiritus Laudet Dominum Alleluia
In joyful memory of William Edward George 1921