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Bristol Branch
Brislington (St Luke the Evangelist)

St Luke the Evangelist, Brislington - click for a larger version

Name or Dedication: St Luke the Evangelist

Location: Brislington, Somerset

Grid Reference: ST621708

The Purdues cast a ring of five for this church in 1669, the tenor being recast in 1766. The ring was augmented to six with the addition of a treble by William Blews & Sons of Birmingham in 1874, and within ten years a clock was installed in the first floor Ringing Room. Made by W. Langford & Sons of Bristol and installed at Christmas 1883, this flatbed movement has Cambridge quarter chimes and strikes the hours on the tenor. Its dial is on the west wall of the tower.

On Christmas Eve in 1919 the spirelet at the top of the staircase turret was struck by lightning, sending parts of the stonework flying to the ground. This stonework remained in the garden of a local cottage for several years before it was restored.

1988 was a busy year for this tower. The bells were all taken down for tuning at Whitechapel – sadly the Purdue fourth cracked during tuning and had to be recast – before being rehung in a new two-tier steel frame by Whites of Appleton. The second bell hangs alone in the upper tier, directly above the third. The clock was also overhauled by Smith of Derby who installed epicyclic autowinding motors on each of the three trains. Its weights now drop only to the floor of the Ringing Room, having previously dropped all the way to the ground floor of the tower.

Bells hung for full-circle ringing

The bells of St Luke the Evangelist, Brislington
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
15-0-04 30¼ inC# William Blews & Sons 1874
25-1-09 30¾ inB William Purdue III & Roger Purdue II 1669
35-1-13 32½ inA William Purdue III & Roger Purdue II 1669
47-2-23 33 inG# Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd 1988
58-3-09 39¼ inF# William Purdue III & Roger Purdue II 1669
613-3-23 44¾ inE Thomas Bilbie I 1766

Source: Bell data from Dove's Guide and a document in Brislington Ringing Room. Further information from "Church Bells of Somerset" (Revd Henry Thomas Ellacombe, 1874) and ChurchCrawler (Phil M. Draper). Inspected personally 30th April 2006.

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.