Bells of Blewbury

featurebells

To be honest, seeing the bells of Blewbury’s Parish Church, was one of the things about visiting our friends in Blewbury that we were most looking forward to!  Mike is a bell ringer and had promised us a trip to see the church bells.  Seeing how much we both love the sounds of church bells we were really looking forward to this part of the adventure.

The adventure started with one of those doors in an old church that you always wonder where on earth it goes.  Once you open the old wooden door, it opens up to a stone spiral staircase, that is wound up so tight that the journey up seems endless.  The steps are barely wide enough for your toes and ball of your foot to find a landing place.  Any sense of how far up you have gone is lost by the sense of spiraling up and away.

stairs

Then suddenly you open up to a large room, big enough for at least a 10 top round table for a served dinner!  Not at all what we were expecting!  We thought you would be looking up at the bells above and everything would be open to the outside through the top of the bell tower.  But here we were in a nice enclosed room with 8 ropes hanging through holes in the ceiling above.  The ropes go to a system that moves the bells in a chamber above the room.

bell ringing room

From the bell ringing room, we were able to get a special view of the bells with a second climb straight up a 90 degree ladder, to a plank above the bells.  There are a total of 8 bells and the oldest one dates back to the late 1500s.  The largest bell weighted close to 2200 pounds and had to be cast in the garden outside the church because it was too heavy to transport a few hundred years ago.

bells

Our final climb up another wooden ladder lead us to a door that we crawled out to the roof of the bell tower.  From there we could see all of Blewbury and Didcot.  I am not going to lie, I was nervous on a few of the climbs, but when I reached the top it was all worth it!  Although, what goes up, must come down!  And going down always seems a bit harder.

views of didcot jjroof

Jon, Dick & Mike on the roof top.  Dick & Mike were kind enough to show us how bell ringing works!

Jon, Dick & Mike on the roof top. Dick & Mike were kind enough to show us how bell ringing works!

 

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