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Bristol Branch
Clifton (College Chapel)

Name or Dedication: College Chapel

Location: Clifton, Gloucestershire

Grid Reference: ST570738

Hung in an oak one-bell frame that was formerly home to the Call bell (see below), which was at that time hung for ringing in its place. The bell bears a long Latin inscription on one side and is odd-struck as a result of the additional weight of the lettering. Note that the bell tower at the north-west corner of the chapel is entirely separate from the great octagonal copper-clad lantern that dwarfs it from the roof of the nave.

Above the Chapel bell the three clock bells are hung dead from a steel beam halfway up the belfry. The clock movement that sounds them was built at the school to drive the existing dials, and the three bells were provided especially for it. The Call bell now hangs above the other four bells in the north louvre of the belfry, and is provided with a wheel for swing-chiming.

In 1962 an appropriate memento for the centenary of the college was being considered. Two or three of the students at the time were also bell ringers and they thought that a light ring of six bells would be apt. The project progressed as far as obtaining a quote from Taylors, albeit based on a wildly optimistic estimate of the weight of the Chapel bell, but in the end a new stained glass window was provided in the chapel instead, cunningly installed where the sun never shone so the only way to see it is by floodlight.

Bells hung for full-circle ringing

The bells of College Chapel, Clifton
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
Chapel3¾ cwt 27 inE Llewellins & James 3rd Feb 1909

Additional bells

Additional bells at College Chapel, Clifton
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
Call1 cwt 16 inE John Warner & Sons 1869
Quarter #10-3-12 15¼ inEb Gillett & Johnston 1939
Quarter #21-0-15 17½ inC Gillett & Johnston 1939
Hour1-3-26 21½ inAb Gillett & Johnston 1939

Source: All from The Ringing World 4372 (page 140), the Keltek Trust and Will Willans.

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.