COVENTRY, Holy Trinity 8, 23-1-15 in Eb
History Of The Bells
Coventry's power split in medieval times is really demonstrated here. This church all but shares a churchyard with the St Michael's church, now the Cathedral. This is because Coventry used to be split into two power bases, the Crown and the Earl. The boundary line was between the two churches.
Holy Trinity was "Gilbert Scotted" during the restoration of the 1850s, in that the central tower's floors were removed to let more light into the building. The bells therefore could no longer remain in that tower.
There were six bells until 1776 when Pack & Chapman provided a new ring of eight, tenor 20-0-18. Six peals rung on the bells (including one of 10,128 in 1787) between 1776 and 1807.
The bells, with the front 7 recast, were hung in a wooden campanile to the side of the church in 1856, the tenor subsequently being recast in 1898). This tower was never strong enough to hold a ringing peal. Peter Border told me of a time when he rang up the tenor by its wheel to frame height - and then he rang it back down very quickly amidst a mass of creaks and groans! Chris Pickford tells me that there is little evidence that the bells were ever rung regularly in this wooden tower. However, he has found a report of some ringing on the front 6 in the latter part of the 19th century.
After a decade of storage at Taylor's foundry, the bells were sold to Christchurch Cathedral in New Zealand for the value of the metal and then incorporated into their new ring of 12. These bells are currently in storage following the destruction of the Cathedral by an earthquake in February 2011.
Chris Pickford in his book on Coventry Cathedral bells says that 2 bells were cracked by 1831 and they were taken down until 1841 after which they were chimed only until 1854. There has been repeated structural trouble with the tower, (which again needed a major restoration in 2000). Seven bells were then recast by Mears and all 8 put in the campanile. The tenor was recast in 1898 and the whole lot demolished in 1966/7.
For a full account of the history please see Chris Pickford's article in The Ringing World dated 22 May 1987.
Details of the Bells
1 C. & G. Mears, Whitechapel 1856 6-1-06
2 C. & G. Mears, Whitechapel 1856 6-3-14
3 C. & G. Mears, Whitechapel 1856 7-1-20
4 C. & G. Mears, Whitechapel 1856 8-1-03
5 C. & G. Mears, Whitechapel 1856 10-0-08
6 C. & G. Mears, Whitechapel 1856 11-2-21
7 C. & G. Mears, Whitechapel 1856 13-2-17
8 John Taylor & Co., Loughborough 1898 23-1-15
|The Wooden Tower||The ceiling of the church
at the level that would have
been the ringing room
ceiling in the tower.