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Bristol Rural Branch
Olveston (St Mary the Virgin)

St Mary the Virgin, Olveston

Name or Dedication: St Mary the Virgin

Location: Olveston, Gloucestershire

Grid Reference: ST600873

The earliest mention of bells at Olveston is an eye-witness account from 1605 when the tower was struck by lightning, which records that all five bells were destroyed. No further information exists about these bells.

It is likely that Olveston was without bells until 1732 when a ring of five in F# was installed, the treble being recast in 1733 probably because it was of poor quality. These were augmented to six with the addition of a new tenor in 1811, the third bell being retuned down from A# to produce a major scale.

The bells were recast into the present ring of eight by John Taylor & Co. in 1907.

Bells previously hung for full-circle ringing

The bells of St Mary the Virgin, Olveston
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
18 cwt 34 inC# William Evans 1733
29 cwt 35 inB William Evans 1732
310½ cwt 39 inA William Evans 1732
412 cwt 40 inG# William Evans 1732
515 cwt 41 inF# William Evans 1732
622-3-00 50 inE Thomas Mears II 1811

Source: Bell data from an old document formerly in Olveston Ringing Room, with diameters from "The Church Bells of Gloucestershire" (Revd Henry Thomas Ellacombe, 1881). Further information from Andrew Bull and Paul Grainger-Allen.

Where the exact weight of a bell is known, it is given in the traditional way using the British imperial units of Hundredweight, Quarters and Pounds (cwt-qtr-lb) in which there are 28 pounds in a quarter, four quarters in a hundredweight, and 20 hundredweight in a ton (one hundredweight is equal to approximately 50.8 kilograms). However, if only an approximate or calculated weight is known, it is given to the nearest quarter of a hundredweight.

A bell's diameter is measured across its mouth (open end) at the widest point and is given in inches (to the nearest quarter of an inch), one inch being equal to approximately 2.54 centimetres.