Saturday September 9  10.30am – 3.30pm.

Heritage Open Day

The Tower of Holy Cross Church, Daventry NN11 4BL will be open

Interested people can see what they do and 'have a go' under supervision on our bell simulator and perhaps a real bell. There will be a guided tour to the intermediate chamber where you can see along the nave roof between the top of the ceiling and the inside of the outer roof, then up to the bell chamber. Here you can stand below and well clear of the bells, watch one silenced bell being rung and see the remains of the historic chiming machine. Come and meet the bell ringers.

Holy Cross Church is the only completely new church built in the county during the 18th century. Its tower contains a magnificent nationally-renowned ring of ten bells that were cast at various times between 1738 and 1965 and hung in a new steel frame in 1965.

Children need to be 10 + to partake of the simulator.

Across the country the great majority of bells hung for ringing in the full-circle English way hang in Church of England church or cathedral towers. The use of the bells is within the sole prerogative of the incumbent of the parish or the dean of the cathedral. A few rings hang in Roman Catholic churches and a few in public or private buildings (eg Manchester Town HallQuex Park in East Kent).  There are now an increasing number of mini-rings owned by individuals to allow them to practise change ringing whenever they want.

Each tower has its own band of ringers. Within the Church of England, the tower captain is responsible to the Parochial Church Council for running the tower and ringing. 

To provide an organisation and opportunity for ringers to get together to practise and improve their skills, associations or guilds started to develop in the 17th century and by the late 19th century they covered most diocese or counties. More recently they have flourished within universities as well. For practical support, the associations usually have a branch or district structure comprising 20 – 40 towers.

This area is covered by the Peterborough Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers and we are members of the Daventry Branch, which is one of ten branches through which the Guild meets its objectives. These are:

    • Ringing for Divine Service
    • Recruiting and training of Ringers
    • Encouraging the art of Change Ringing
    • Helping Ringers to improve their standard of ringing
    • Care and Restoration of Bells and their fittings
Daventry Branch holds a practice, service, tea and short business meeting in the afternoon of the second Saturday of most months. Anyone interested in bell ringing is welcome to come along to any of these meetings. It also runs outings, training sessions and takes part in diocese-wide events.

There are about 40,000 bellringers in the English tradition and they form a world-wide fraternity in which you are welcome to ring in most places, simply by turning up on practice night or to ring for a service.  The greetings are usually: “Are you a ringer?”, “What would you like to ring?”

All the associations and guilds get together within the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. It has many working committees who assist in all matters of bell ringing and bell maintenance. The Council owns The Ringing World, a weekly magazine for bell-ringers, which enables ringers world-wide to keep up to date and in touch.

It is strange, but probably a typical English phenomenon, that the best current website describing ringing is that published by the North American Guild!   But now the Church Conservation Trust has a put a new slant on the exercise!  Here are a few myths exploded.

This page last updated:6/12/15 Open tower advert 27/7/17

Branch coach outing at St Modwen's, Burton -on-Trent,  May 13, 2017