Ludlow Palmers
helping to conserve the fabric and treasures of St Laurence's

The tower of St Laurence's contains one of the finest rings of 10 bells in the country. Six of them were cast by Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester in 1732, with a tenor, or largest bell weighing 17cwt. There are two bells cast by Gillett and Johnson in 1935 and four new bells cast by Whitechapel in 2008. They are tuned to the fifth-comma meantone temperament and are in the key of E. The bells have significant historical interest and feature in the early development of change ringing.

The bells originally formed a ring of eight in the key of D from the Rudhall foundry with a tenor weighing 25cwt and were tuned and rehung with new fittings by Taylors of Loughborough in 1988 when they recast the tenor.

Tower movement had always been a problem when the bells were rung and a decision was subsequently taken to remove the tenor from the ring and remodel them into a lighter ring of the ten using the old seventh as the tenor and adding further bells to complete the peal.

Two redundant bells from Kidderminster were purchased to become the treble and second ring of the ten, the additional new bells all being cast to special profiles to match the two Kidderminster bells. The old Sanctus and a new bell were tuned to produce the notes of a treble and second in twelve to extend the compass of a new automated carillon system and the old fifth bell was retained as a flat tenth in twelve. All thirteen bells were tuned at Whitechapel.

The complete peal was rehung with a mixture of modified original and new fittings and a new automated carillon system provided, all by Nicholson Engineering of Bridport, in 2009.

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