Weird and wonderful bell towers (part 1 of 2)
Fun with BellsAugust 13, 202000:25:3017.54 MB

Weird and wonderful bell towers (part 1 of 2)

These tales of weird and wonderful towers are definitely not for the faint-hearted ringers among you. Podshow host, Cathy Booth, invites us behind the scenes of 15 of the most outlandish ringing environments from across the world, featuring trap doors, vaults, ventilator shafts, crawlways and external ladders. Clock cases also play a starring role, along with gas lamps and one particularly chilling occupant!

Some helpful tips here, though, should you find yourself faced with one of these terrifying towers. Need more ventilation as the ringing room is turning into a sauna? Just take the door off its hinges! 

And it seems that a whole new set of skills is needed to ring in these peculiar places. Ropesight won’t hold you in much stead in many of these challenging ringing environments, and listening will be difficult too, underneath the headphones you’ll need to use to preserve your hearing. Extra kudos, however, if you have the skills to get a barrel of beer up an external ladder – maybe a new module is needed for this in the ART ‘learning the ropes’ scheme … 

Featured towers:

St James, Garlickhythe, City of London

  • Dickon Love read about the bells of Garlickhythe

The Waterloo Tower, Quex Park, Kent

St Mary, Launton, Oxfordshire

  • Rose Nightingale – reads information about Launton. Rose also instigated and compiled the material for the Weird and Wonderful episodes of Fun with Bells.
  • For more information see:

St Mary the Virgin, Cottingham, Riding of East Yorkshire

St Patrick’s, Patrington, Yorkshire

St Cuthbert’s, Cotherstone, County Durham

East Bergholt

Various other towers around the UK and the World

  • Dee Smith also contributed several stories of towers

Sponsor: This podcast is sponsored by the Association of Ringing Teachers (ART).  To find out more about learning to ring, learning to teach or other resources to support your ringing go to

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