PracticesMonday 6.30pm - 8pm Check Calendar for location
Sunday Ringing 9am - 10am
The band is made up of ringers from across the country and have been ringing for services at St Martin in the Fields for over 25 years.
We ring the bells every Sunday between 9am and 10am prior to the Eucharist service as well as for other special services throughout the year.
Due to the high number of bells in London and the limited supply of ringers, members are often also members of other bands including Southwark Cathedral, St Magnus the Martyr and St John’s Waterloo.
Link to this page: smitf-bells.co.uk/#about
There have been a set of 12 bells at St Martin in the Fields since May 1727. The current bells were cast in June 1988 by Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London.
|1||4-3-25||A||1988||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd|
|2||5-1-23||G||1988||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd|
|3||5-3-2||F#||1988||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd|
|4||6-0-16||E||1988||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd|
|5||6-2-11||D||1988||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd|
|6||6-3-24||C#||1988||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd|
|7||7-1-8||B||1988||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd|
|8||9-0-5||A||1988||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd|
|9||12-1-9||G||1988||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd|
|10||14-2-20||F#||1988||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd|
|11||20-1-23||E||1988||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd|
|12||29-1-1||D||1988||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd|
|#2||5-0-15||G#||1988||Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd|
|Sanctus||5-1-26||D#||1725||Abraham II Rudhall|
The first ring of 12 bells dates back to May 1727. The following March there was a ringing match between the Society of College Youths and the Society of London Scholars. On the 14th the Scholars set a record by ringing the longest 12 bell peal - 6000 Grandsire Cinques. The next day their rivals rang 6134 in the same method. There is no account of what the parishoners thought of this contest!
In the 1750s the Society of Union Scholars, who had rung at St Martins since 1736, disbanded and a split in the College Youths between the juniors and seniors resulted in the senior branch making the church their home. In 1788 they disbanded, and the juniors came to St Martins. They stayed until 1849 when they moved to Southwark. The vacancy was filled shortly afterwards by the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths. It has been our headquarters ever since - for over 150 years.
The bells of 1727 remained at St Martins for many years (although the trebles were recast in 1758 and the tenor was replaced in 1726 owing to it crashing to the floor due to a broken gudgeon). Despite a re-hang in 1912, they were difficult to ring, partly due to being hung too high. In 1984, the decision was taken to replace the bells with a new ring and planning began. A new home was found for the old bells when the Australia and New Zealand Association of Bell Ringers asked if they might mark the Australian Bicentenary in 1988 by transporting the bells to the University of Western Australia in Perth, and hanging them in a purpose built tower. Renison Goldfields Consolidated Ltd sent to London 12 tonnes of Australian copper and tin to provide the new bells and fund raising by the Cumberlands began. By June 1988 the new bells, cast by Whitechapel Bell Foundry, were ready.Link to the current home of our old bells (The Swan Tower, Australia)
In bell ringing, a peal is the name given to a specific type of performance of change ringing.
Currently, for a performance to be recognised as a peal, it must consist of sufficient numerical sequences, or "changes" (at least 5040 changes on up to seven working bells or 5000 non-repeating changes on higher numbers), along with meeting a number of other criteria. All peals also have to be published in The Ringing World to be counted.
At St Martin's a peal typically takes between 3 and 3.5 hours, however, some have taken more or less time to complete.