Tower Captain: Isabel Rivers
Telephone : 01502 581737
We are always anxious to hear from anyone who wishes to learn the art of bell-ringing.
- Sundays : 9:15am - 10:00am
- Practice : Thursdays 7.30pm-9.00pm
Visiting ringers are always welcome
Weight of the present bells:
- Treble 4 - 3 - 14 A
- 2nd 5 - 0 - 13 G
- 3rd 5 - 0 - 16 F#
- 4th 5 - 2 - 10 E
- 5th 6 - 0 - 21 D
- 6th 6 - 0 - 23 C#
- 6th (flat) 7 - 1 - 10 Cb
- 7th 7 - 2 - 19 B
- 8th 9 - 1 - 7 A
- 9th 12 - 2 - 19 G
- 10th 15 - 1 - 15 F#
- 11th 21 - 2 - 0 E
- Tenor 30 - 2 - 4 D
HISTORY OF THE BELLS AT GREAT YARMOUTH MINSTER
There is now a ring of 12 bells. The only other tower in Norfolk with a ring of 12 is St. Peter Mancroft in Norwich.
* 1465 - Entries are found in the church records for repairing the bells.
* 1468 - The suffragan was paid six shillings and eight-pence for hallowing the bells.
* 1548 - Yarmouth Corporation sold the vestments (to a local tailor), bells from the tower and jewels and plate to finance the cutting of a new harbour’s mouth, the sixth.
* 1657 - Gabriel Brooks mended the bells.
* 1663 - Two of the bells were cracked and Yarmouth Corporation raised a tax on the town to have them re-cast.
* 1670 - Church possessed six bells.
* 1674 - Two shillings and eleven-pence was spent on oiling the bells and chimes and for brushes.
* 1726 - Two treble bells were cast by John Stephens of Norwich and were added to the six existing ones. On Gunpowder Treason Day a peal of Grandsire Triples was rung. (5,040 changes in 3 hours 27 minutes). The first ever peal of 5,040 changes had been rung at St. Peter Mancroft Church, Norwich in 1715
* 1807 - New peal of ten bells was cast by Thomas and Mears of London. They cost £1,161. Half the cost was defrayed by selling the metal from the old bells. The bells were in the key of D. The tenor bell weighed 30 hundredweight and had a diameter of 4 feet 8 inches across its mouth.
* 1808 - First peal of the new ten bells was rung in the tower on 2nd May.
* 1809 - Complete peal of 5,040 changes of Bob Major Royal was rung in just under four hours.
* 1834 - Two of the iron bands encasing the tower broke. The church bells were silenced.
* 1840 - Bells were re-hung by Messrs. R. and J. Stolworthy.
* 1888 - During the year 159,374 changes were rung on the bells. These were made up from P. Bob Minor, P Bob Major, Royal, G Triples, G Caters, Stedman Triples and Oxford I Bob methods. Two peals over 5,000 changes were rung by the Yarmouth ringers. One of these was a peal of 5,021 changes of Grandsire Caters which was rung on Royal Oak Day. It took 3 hours and 36 minutes. The bell company stood at 24 members, 17 of which were performing members and four were probationers.
* 1889 - Bell ringers were paid 50 shillings for ringing the bells on Queen Victoria’s birthday.
* 1898 - Two bells were added to the ring of ten. They cost £300. They were cast at Whitechapel Foundry in London.
* 1911 - Two of the bells cast in 1807 were replaced as they were cracked. They cost £190.
* July 1957 - Thirteen new bells for the tower were ordered from Whitechapel Bell Foundry. They cost £4,500. A third of the cost was obtained from the salvage of the molten metal from the old bells after the air raid in 1942. The remainder was paid for by the Russell Colman legacy.
* August 1959 - A ring of 13 bells was inserted into the tower.
* October 1959 - New bells were dedicated. The congregation include 200-300 bell-ringers from all over the country. After the service ringers from St. Paul’s and Lincoln Cathedrals and Cambridge University rang light touches on all the 12 bells.
* March 1960 - The new bells were blessed before a congregation of 3,000 people. The bells were named Herbert (after the founder of the church), Walter (who enlarged the church in the 13th century), Felix (the first Christian missionary to East Anglia), Luke, John, James, Peter, Paul, George, Andrew, Thomas and Nicholas (all churches in the parish) and Gabriel.
* May 25th 1961 - First peal of the new bells of over 5,040 changes was rung in 3 hours and 16 minutes (Bob Major).