Six Bells / Tenor Weight 9-0-0 


The bells of St Mary's ceased ringing in the mid 1980s, due to slight movement of the tower itself. A new beam was fitted to the tower in the mid '90s after which a new ringing chamber was built to create a room at first floor level within the tower.

The present group of ringers was formed in 1998 and started practicing in November at Clitheroe Parish Church under the guidance of Mr Walter Wilkinson and Mr Eric Musson.

The bells have the following inscriptions:

1. T Mears of London Fecit 1818 Approx. weight. 3 cwt

2. T Mears of London Fecit 1818 Recast 1964 by Mears. Approx. weight. 4 cwt

3. T Mears London Fecit 1818 Approx. weight. 4.5 cwt

4. These bells were ordered by John Earnshaw T Mears of London Fecit 1818 Recast 1964. Mears. London. Approx. weight. 6 cwt

5. THE KING. THE CHURCH. LIBERTY. T Mears. London. Fecit 1818. Approx. weight. 7 cwt

6. The Rev. Robert Knowles. Minister. 9 cwt John Barlow. Henry Wilkinson. John Moore. Robert Whofendale. Church Wardens. T Mears. London. 1818. Approx. weight. 9 cwt 

BELLS & BELLRINGERS The bellringers formed an important section of the local community It is impossible to read the Churchwardens’ accounts of any parish from the 15th century onwards without being quickly aware of the importance of the bells, for they were always expensive to maintain and demanded constant expenditure upon their up-keep.

The fact that the necessary large sums continued to be provided, and that during the 18th century new bells were added to many peals is in itself evidence of the continuing popularity of bells and bellringing. They were rung not only to summon people to church, but for weddings and to give warnings of fire and other disasters to celebrate victories, to mark occasions such as the monarch ’s birthday.

Oak Apple Day, Guy Fawkes and other festivities also had peals. They were even rang to ward off violent storms and thunder. They were rang for funerals or as a ’passing bell’ at the time of death of any villager. Some were rung as a rising bell and for curfew.

In towns like Bath no visitor could arrive with coach and horses except he was welcomed by a peal of bells - a privilege for which he would of course be expected to pay. article kindly donated by M. Billows (Bolton-by-Bowland) for Gisburn Parish Magazine.