Our History

Norwell and Caunton Church Bells

In the 1930s, the old wooden frames in Norwell tower were replaced with a new metal frame. This was capable of accommodating 6 bells, but it was not until 1977 that the fifth and sixth bells were installed.

In the 1990s, Caunton only had three bells and efforts were made to double this and in 2003 the sixth bell was installed.

Ages of bells

St Laurence’s Church, Norwell, has one bell dated 1591 and another from the 19th century. St. Andrew’s Church, Caunton, has four 17th century bells and one 19th century one. The Hoy Rood at Ossington, has a set of 6 bells, one 17th century, two 18th century and three 19th century and another 19th century bell for its clock.

Change Ringing

The original purpose of church bells was principally to proclaim that a service was about to start and to summon the faithful. However, it would have been used also for secular reasons. Perhaps to celebrate a victory, to warn of danger, to welcome a new century and of course to celebrate weddings.

The early bells would just have been swung just enough for the clapper to hit the side of the bell. If there were several bells the sound would probably have been rather chaotic.

As stated already, the English tradition of Change Ringing only started in the 16th century and but it has become one of the most evocative sounds of the nation. The practice has spread to other Commonwealth countries.

The secret of change ringing is being able to control the bell. Even to hold it in an inverted position.

On the right you can see one bell hanging down but the next bell is held in an inverted position

This degree of control allows the bells to be rung at regular or varying intervals and for the order of bells to be altered in a smooth and controlled way.

But don't worry when you first start, just ringing the bell in a controlled way will be your first target.


For any enquiries or suggestions please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / The Old Chapel, Norwell 01636 636401 | Website by Screenbeetle