Heritage Open Days 9-18 September 2022 - What will you discover?

Ten things you never knew about bell ringing

© Swan Bells Foundation - Bells are mounted on wheels enabling them to turn full circle to create the unique music of change ringing

1. Church bells are the loudest musical instrument in the world – the original heavy metal band.

2. Bells can be as small as your hand, as heavy as a truck and anywhere in between. 

3. Bells are rung by real, highly skilled people of all ages - not machines. 

4. Ringers control the bell with a rope, while the bell turns full circle, mounted on a wheel.

5. Change ringing is a unique form of music.  Instead of 'tunes' the bells ring in orderly sequences that the ringers learn in terms of patterns and then ring from memory.

6. When Handel came to London he called England 'the ringing isle' because wherever he went he heard bells ringing.

7. There are over 5000 Churches in Britain with a ring of bells, and no two rings of bells are the same.

8. Ringers travel throughout the English speaking world, including Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Africa, to ring on English-style bells.

9. A ringer walking into any tower in the world, village or cathedral, will invariably be welcomed by the ringers and invited to ring.  Becoming a ringer is like joining a huge extended family, with ready-made friends everywhere.

10. You can go ringing every day for fun, not just for church on Sundays. 

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers represents all who ring bells in the English tradition with rope and wheel: the art of change ringing.  Ringers will shortly be ringing out across the land to celebrate Christmas.  You could be joining them to make a lot of noise for Christmas next year!  Get in touch – send an email to learntoring@cccbr.org.uk