Bell Ringing Trail

Yorkshire is home to some of the country’s most spectacular churches and most magnificent bells. This year, as part of the Ryedale Festival celebrations we can follow the Yorkshire Association of Bell Ringers as they embark upon on a celebratory ‘Ringing Trail’ at a number of concert performances and venues.

Friday 14th July: St Peter’s Church, Norton, 6pm

St Peter’s Church, Norton, has a fine peal of 8 bells to match its imposing Victorian architecture. Cast by Taylor’s of Loughborough, the lightest 6 were formed in 1925-26 and the heaviest two in 1945.

A ‘Quarter Peal’ (Lasting about 45 minutes) will be attempted prior to the start of the Festival’s opening concert.

Sunday 16th July: All Saints’ Church, Kirkbymoorside, 6.30pm

The bells of All Saints, Kirkbymoorside were cast in 1936 by John Taylor of Loughborough. They are a fine ‘light’ six, with the tenor weighing 8¾ cwt (444 kg). The band here includes the oldest ringer in Ryedale, Rev Michael Stephens, aged 92, who still climbs the stairs every Sunday to call the faithful to worship.

Ringing will take place from 6.30pm, ending before the start of Festival concert at 7pm.

Tuesday 18th July: St Mary’s Church, Lastingham, 2pm

In a rare treat, discover a full peal of hand bells at this beautiful little church, will begin at 2pm, and ending in time for the Festival concert at 3pm.

Saturday 22nd July, All Saints’ Church, Helmsley: 2.45pm

The original ring of 8 bells at All Saints Church Helmsley, with one exception, was recast in 1987 by Taylor’s of Loughborough. The heaviest bell weighs 15cwt (762 kg).

A quarter peal will be attempted here starting at 2.45pm and ending before the 4.00pm concert.

Monday 24th July, Church of St Peter & St Paul, Pickering, 2.45pm

The church of Ss Peter and Paul in Pickering has a peal of 8 bells, cast by Mears and Stainbank of Whitechapel London in 1919 as a memorial to the local fallen in World War One. The heaviest bell weighs 13.5 cwt (687 kg).

Ringers will attempt a quarter peal (approximately 45 minutes of non-stop ringing) starting at 2.45pm prior to the 4.00pm concert.

Tuesday 25th July, St Lawrence’s Church, York, 4.15pm

The church of St Lawrence was given a set of 8 bells in 1999 by the bellringers of York to celebrate the millennium. They were all cast (in 1947, 1988, and 1999) and hung by Taylors of Loughborough. Four of the bells formerly hung in Charrington’s Brewery, London.

A quarter peal will be attempted here following the close of the 3.00pm Festival concert.

Friday 28th July, St Mary’s Church, Thirsk, 7.30pm

St Mary’s has a peal of 8 bells ranging in age from circa 1410 (York foundry), 1729 and 1775 (Samuel Smith and George Dalton of York), two from 1864 and two from 1871, all from Mears and Stainbank in Whitechapel London. They were all rehung in a new frame in 1976 by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

General ringing will take place starting at 7.30pm prior to the 8.00pm Festival concert.

Sunday 30th July, All Saints’ Church, Hovingham, 4.30pm

Situated next door to Hovingham Hall, All Saints Church, has 6 bells, all cast by John Taylor of Loughborough in 1878. The heaviest bell weighs 11 cwt (572kg). Currently a new band of ringers is being taught here and there are provisional plans to refurbish the bell fittings and to relocate the ringing room to the ground floor to make them easier to ring.

General ringing will take place starting at 4.30pm, and finishing in time for the 5.00pm Ryedale Festival Service.