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Wotton-under-Edge Branch
Old Sodbury (St John the Baptist)

St John the Baptist, Old Sodbury - click for a larger version

Name or Dedication: St John the Baptist

Location: Old Sodbury, Gloucestershire

Grid Reference: ST755818

Hung by plain canons from an elm headstock on plain bearings in the tenor pit of a 17th or 18th Century oak four-bell frame. Much of the frame has been cut away to allow the bell to swing, it having been designed for a smaller bell. The fittings are contemporary with the bell and include a peg stay, unusual metal slider and wooden-topped clapper. The frame originally held a ring of four bells of which nothing is known, except that they were all recast into the present large bell by Thomas Rudhall in 1763.

Two Quarter Bells are hung by plain canons from elm deadstocks in the treble and second pits of the frame. They have no clappers and are sounded solely by clock hammers, the hours being struck on the large bell hung for ringing. The clock itself has two dials on the south and west walls of the tower, overlooking the village at the bottom of the hill.

Bells hung for full-circle ringing

The bells of St John the Baptist, Old Sodbury
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
115 cwt 45½ inF Thomas Rudhall 1763

Additional bells

Additional bells at St John the Baptist, Old Sodbury
BellWeightDiameterNoteFounder Date
Quarter #1¾ cwt 14¾ in    1844
Quarter #22 cwt 20¾ in    1844

Source: Details of bells from "Church Bells of Gloucestershire" (Mary Bliss & Frederick Sharpe, 1986). Strike note of bell hung for ringing from "The Church Bells of Gloucestershire" (Revd Henry Thomas Ellacombe, 1881). Weights of Quarter Bells estimated personally. Further information from John Ludlow. Church visited (but bells not seen) 21st 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.