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Bristol Rural Branch
Kingswood (Holy Trinity)

Holy Trinity, Kingswood - click for a larger version

Name or Dedication: Holy Trinity

Location: Kingswood, Gloucestershire

Grid Reference: ST650738

Unringable; there is no facility for sounding these bells.

The bells are hung by their canons on plain bearings with oak headstocks, in a 19th Century oak two-bell frame that is probably contemporary with the church (built by John Foster in 1821). Many fittings are missing, to the extent that only the tenor has a clapper. They have been rung full-circle at some time, more recently chimed from the back of the church with an Ellacombe Chiming Apparatus, and since 1991 the tenor has been chimed with an electric motorised hammer, but even this is no longer used.

The original intention was to install a ring of eight, and there is certainly sufficient space in the belfry for this. Unfortunately, the Bath stone tower was unable to support the weight, so two bells were transferred here from nearby Oldland Chapel (ST668711). Built around 1280, the chapel was demolished in 1820 to make way for the present church of St Anne, Oldland, built in 1830. St Anne only has one bell, probably recast from an old Sanctus, by Thomas Mears II in 1821. It is hung for swing-chiming in a bellcote above the west door.

It seems that not everyone in Kingswood liked hearing just two bells being rung, and in the early 1950s money was given for a 12-inch vinyl record player and speakers to be installed in the tower to simulate a complete ring. This was later replaced by the CD player in use today.

Also in the belfry is a disused 19th Century (probably contemporary with the church) weight-driven posted frame clock that strikes the hours on the treble. Originally hand-wound, electric motors have since taken over the job. The pendulum swings through the floor of the belfry, and the weights fall almost to the floor of the chamber below. The clock dial, on the north wall of the tower below the belfry louvres, is now driven by a synchronous electric movement.

Bells hung for full-circle ringing

The bells of Holy Trinity, Kingswood
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
13¼ cwt 26¼ inD Bristol Foundry 1530
23¾ cwt 26½ inF Bristol Foundry 1530

Source: Bell data from Nick Bowden, Revd David L. Cawley and Robin Shipp. Historical information from Ed Simms, Churchwarden. Information about Oldland Chapel from DistrictWeb (formerly at Inspected personally and diameters measured 11th January 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.