Our church has been a dominant structure from the top of the hill for 800 years or more: overlooking the Levels and being a symbol to people in many different ways.
The beautiful octagonal tower supports eight mighty bells which can be heard for many miles.
Records show that there have been bells at this church as far back as 1586: calling people to church services, letting people rejoice in couples getting married, and saying farewell to loved ones as they depart this earth.
Four of our bells were cast in 1811. Originally rung from the ground floor, in 1833 they were moved higher up in the tower. Two further bells were re-cast in 1894 and two more added in 1953.
So North Curry’s bells are a traditional part of the village, and not just for churchgoers: the bells are heard by all, most often in the church clock chimes, which sound every quarter, day and night.
We know indeed that they are part of people’s lives: when the chimes were stopped for a while, following a mechanical problem, there was general unrest around the village! It’s not a matter of telling the time – today we all have instant ways of knowing what the time is – but the distant chimes of the church clock are a reassuring sound echoing in our subconscious and giving a sense of permanence. It is something to be treasured in this fast-moving world.
It is a tribute to our forebears who installed, maintained and rang the bells that they have survived to the present day. Eventually, however, everything wears out through regular use, and the bells are no exception.
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