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Bristol Branch
Clifton (Christ Church)

Name or Dedication: Christ Church

Location: Clifton, Gloucestershire

Grid Reference: ST570733

Unringable. The bell, installed along with the clock by Moore of Clerkenwell on 1st November 1861, is currently only used to sound the hours.

The first part of this church comprising a broad nave, transepts and a small chancel was built by Charles Dyer in 1843–4 and consecrated in 1844 as a chapel-of-ease to the parish church of St Andrew, Clifton. It was enlarged just over ten years later, with the tower and spire by John Norton being added in 1859 and aisles by W. Bassett Smith in 1885.

Following the destruction of St Andrew on 24th November 1940, Christ Church became the new parish church in 1951. A year later in 1952 the opportunity arose for the church to acquire the bells from Holy Cross, Bristol which had been destroyed the same night as St Andrew, but despite its tower being more than fit for the purpose the offer was declined and the bells were hung instead in Bristol Cathedral. To turn down one ring of bells is perhaps understandable, but Christ Church has the unenviable honour not only of making the same mistake again in 1977, but also of compounding the error by allowing the vintage Taylor ring of eight from its own daughter church of Emmanuel, Clifton to be scrapped and installing an amplification system for recorded bells in its tower instead. Some solace may be found in the fact that this amplification system was totally ruined by grit blasting during restoration of the tower in the 1980s.

Bells hung for full-circle ringing

The bells of Christ Church, Clifton
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
14-0-16 26½ inF# George Mears & Co. 1861

Source: All from The Ringing World 4368 (page 36) and ChurchCrawler (Phil M. Draper). Strike note confirmed personally on 5th May 2009 as the clock struck midday.

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.