Belltower

A special date for your diary

Monday August 9th 2021 will be a very special day for Alnwick. On that day the 10 bells will be delivered to St. Michael’s and for the only time they will be on display in the church for all to see before they are lifted into the belfry. We are hopeful that the bells will be unloaded and in church by mid-afternoon for public viewing.

At 7pm there will be a short service of blessing by The Very Revd. Mark Wroe, Bishop of Berwick, in the presence of Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland, Patron of the project. It will be followed by light refreshments and further opportunity to see the bells. We are looking forward to welcoming all who want to take advantage of this once in a lifetime chance to see this magnificent ring of ten bells.

Bells 9aug21

 

The July 2021 presentation video and appeal can be seen here

If you would like to see our bells being tuned, click this LINK. The video is followed by sample bellringing and a tour of the foundry’s work. (If you have trouble dealing with the recently-introduced Google permissions once you’ve watched, just backspace until you return to the St Michael’s page.)

Tower Project News Highlights July 2021

A NOBLE RETIREMENT After centuries in St Michael’s tower our two medieval bells were removed in March. They have now been cleaned by Whites of Appleton and returned to spend an honourable retirement in their new, permanent position in the south aisle, where they will be seen and admired for many more generations.

Tower Project News Highlights 22nd March 2021

  • Work on the Tower Project is now underway, see the Tower Slideshow below.
  • The new bells have all been cast and are now with the bellhangers.
  • The engraving on the Newton Bells is now complete and they are now being cleaned and tuned.
  • The scaffolding is complete.
  • Later this week the 3 bells currently in the tower will be taken out and transported to the bellhangers. The Medieval 2 will be cleaned and returned to be displayed in the ringing room.
  • The archeologist is coming this week to mark out the pieces of graffiti to be retained.
  • The graffiti were removed and stored securely on Tuesday 23rd and the 3 bells were removed by Graham from White’s the bell hangers, along with Jim Crowther and his crew of skilled volunteers on Wednesday. The photographs are in the Tower Slideshow.

Tower Project News Highlights 10th February 2021

  • The contractor’s contract was signed on Feb.4th. David Ferguson Ltd will be starting the work next week.
  • Initially they will create their compound and then the week beginning the 22nd the scaffolding company will start erecting the scaffolding. There is a plan of work and as it progresses we will keep you up to date.
  • We feel it is important for health and safety reasons that while the work is in progress the church grounds are only accessed for services and church business. I know this will disappoint several people who have been enjoying the grounds especially during lockdown but as there will be heavy machinery on site and a lot of access needed through the gate we feel it is a necessary precaution. This may be until mid-Aust 2021. A notice will be placed in the notice board by the gate.

Tower Project News Highlights 29th December 2020

  • The 4 new bells have now been cast with their inscriptions and are ready to be taken to the bell hangers from the foundry. They are all paid for, so now we have our 10 bells.

Tower Project News Highlights 13th November 2020

  • Contractors are now preparing their tenders which should be in by the end of this month and then a decision will be made as to which company will be responsible for carrying out the work due to begin in March 2021.
  • The good news is that all 10 bells are now spoken for. Donations are coming in for the St Michael bell and the town bell but there is still some way to go before both are fully subscribed.

Tower Project News Highlights 13th November 2020

  • Contractors are now preparing their tenders which should be in by the end of this month and then a decision will be made as to which company will be responsible for carrying out the work due to begin in March 2021.
  • The good news is that all 10 bells are now spoken for. Donations are coming in for the St Michael bell and the town bell but there is still some way to go before both are fully subscribed.

Tower Project News Highlights 9th September 2020

  • An article for the Gazette which appears below.
  • The archeologist who is an expert in graffiti visits on Monday, there will be information from him soon after that.
  • The deposit on the bells and frame has been made which means that work can now begin on casting the new bells.
  • 5 of the engravings for the 6 Newton bells have been decided on.  The engraver can be commissioned when the final bell is sponsored, hopefully soon.
Tower Project News Highlights August 2020• The faculty allowing the Project to proceed has been granted.
• All four new of the newly-cast bells have been sponsored in full
• Three of the six refurbished bells have now been sponsored in full and two more set aside to be inscribed “Ring out for Alnwick” and “Ring out for St. Michael’s”.
• Generous contributions have already been received towards the cost of these two bells representing the town and the church respectively – but we still have some way to go to reach the target of £8,000 for each of these.
• Only one of the refurbished bells (£8,000) is still available for sponsorship. If you are interested please be in touch.
• The six moved bells are being tuned.
• An archaeologist is coming to the church this month to report on the historical graffiti in the leadwork of the roof and its preservation – more news on this later.
• Bellringing experts have inspected and made suitable plans for the layout of the ringing room.
• Preparatory work will begin soon and the bells made ready to be rung for the first time in celebration of St. Michael’s day 2021, Wednesday the 29th September.


Slideshow – Tower

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National Churches Trust – Press release

ALNWICK, St Michael - Approved Press Release


Read the draft second Northumberland Gazette article here : Second-Gazette-Article


Newsletter 2 – August 2020

Newsletter 2 Aug2020 v2

Newsletter 1 – Appeal

Appeal 1 2019 v2a



If you’d like to hear what our new bells might sound like, make sure your sound is turned on and click on the image below. Just close your eyes and listen, or watch the bellringers and the ropes to see how they change the patterns!   (Clue: you might hear the lady in the background speak occasionally to call a change…)


There is an article about the project ‘Ring in the New Bells’ published in the Church’s Gateway magazine in March 2020.

Bells A5 v3 bell

Archdeacon Mangin wrote the following about the old Bells in his History of Alnwick Parish Church:

Bells Mangin