Holy Trinity, Newton St. Loe
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The History of the Bells
Newton Tower stands, 61 foot tall at the west end of the church and dates from the 15th.C Initially there were five bells but, in 1741 these were recast as a ring of six bells by Thomas Bilbie (The Great) of Chew Stoke, adding further bell metal (80% copper/20% tin). Only the tenor is inscribed.
‘Mr ROBERT COLLINS AND Mr JOHN FRANCIS CH.WARDENS 174J’
‘THOMAS BILBIE CAST ALL WE IVLY VE 4’
The fifth bells bears only the date. The tenor bells weighs 1132 lbs.
In 1892 the bells were re-hung , probably by Llewellins & James of Bristol, who may have built the present oak frame and also installed the Ellacombe Chime.
The bells are rung from the ground floor. The ropes are 41ft long, their control is facilitated by the rope guides personally fitted by a former Rector, Rev Beaumont-Russell. He had become a keen ringer during his incumbency (1937-52) and trained a generation of ringers during the war years, on the treble and second bells tied.
The bells were again re-hung in 2000 by Robert Parker of Taunton when new clappers, wheels, stays, sliders, nylon pulleys and metal headstocks with ball-race bearings were fitted. The clock hammer was also transposed from the tenor to the fifth bell.
The tower clock probably dates from 1700 and was driven by two weights - one for the time and the other for the chime. At least once a day someone had to climb to the clock chamber to raise those weights. The weights are now raised by electric motors. In the event of a power failure lasting over four hours the clock must still be re-started manually
The Ellacombe Chime is a separate set of hammers - designed by Rev. Henry Thomas and Rev. Henry Nicholson Ellacombe, father and son, vicars of St. Mary’s, Bitton from 1835 to 1916 - enabling a limited number of tunes to be played on the bells from a console at the foot of the tower.
Newton Tower is affiliated to the Bath & Wells Diocesan Association of Change Ringers in the Bath Branch.
Ropes & Guides
Like many towers today Newton has a small band of ringers which can be augmented to ring at weddings and festivals . We welcome visiting bands of ringers. Presently we do not have sufficient village members to ring for Sunday services.
Our normal practice is from 7.00 to 8.00pm on Tuesdays though recently this has been moved to Wednesday. We are pleased to welcome experienced ringers and those who would like to learn.
Please contact of Acting Tower Captain, David Lloyd, on 01225 4222359 for ringing details.
Clock Motors & Escapement