The Minster Bells

Bell TowerThe Bell Tower at Dewsbury Minster boasts an octave of bells; six original ones were recast in 1725 and two new trebles were added in 1828. They were recast in 1875 by John Warner of London and rehung in 1964 by John Taylor & Sons of Loughborough.

Tales of the ringers through the years, including a full account of the Devil’s Knell, can be found in Richard Middleton’s book, ‘The Church at Dewsbury’ 2006, available from the Minster Gift shop or by post.

For the story of the Devil’s Knell and more, try this interesting article; although some of the ‘facts’ need a little circumspection. It was originally scooped for the web in Australia, before this link to local comment.

Each bell has an inscription as follows:

Treble I mean to make it understood
That though I’m little, yet I’m good
2nd Let brotherly love continue
3rd Ring, ring ye bells and sweetly tell
That Christ hath conquered death and hell
4th Our voices shall with joyful sound
Make hill and valley echo round
5th With loving voice I call to church and prayer
And bid the living, for a grave prepare
6th So teach us to number our days that we may apply
Our hearts unto wisdom
7th Gloria in excelsis Deo
Tenor I shall be here if treated just
When they are mouldering in the dust

This Tenor Bell has been nick named ‘Black Tom’ and featured on a 31p stamp, part of a set issued by the Post Office in 1986 – Traditions of England.

Further details from Derek Johnstone email:       derek@99b.co.uk