Harpole Bell Ringers
The tower of All Saints church contains a peal of six bells although prior to 1995 there had for many years been five. The earliest information we have about the bells was found in the Northampton Mercury of November 1783 which records that “a few days ago a peal of 5400 changes was rung at Harpole in this county by five youths of that parish in 3 hours and 45 minutes”. There seems to have been a strong band in the early years of the 20th century as they participated with some success in competition ringing in the Weedon and Daventry areas.
By the end of the 1920’s the bells must have become very difficult to ring as, in 1930, they were removed from the tower and recast into a new peal of five bells, the work being carried out by John Taylor & Co at the Loughborough Bell Foundry. The new peal was hung in a metal frame and at the same time a gallery for the ringers was constructed, reached from the tower floor by means of a wooden ladder. Ringing is still carried out from this gallery. The tenor bell (the heaviest bell of the peal and the one with the deepest note) weighs 12cwt 1qr 12 lb (1384kg) and sounds the note of F#. Between the ringers gallery and the bell chamber (where the bells hang) is an intermediate room where the clock is located.
In 1995 John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd, a successor company to John Taylor & Co, cast another bell, a new treble, weighing 3cwt 2qr 24lb (416kg) which was added to the 1930 bells to complete the present peal of six. The new bell was installed where the old treble was originally hung, and that bell, now number 2, hangs in a separate steel framework above the other bells.
At present, there is an active team of bell ringers who ring regularly on Sunday mornings before the main service. They also practice on Thursday evenings between 7.30pm and 9 pm and are often joined by visitors from Northampton and other places. Anyone interested in learning to ring or who is just curious about bell ringing is very welcome to come to the practice – entrance is available using the chancel door.
For further information about the bells and bell ringing at All Saints church contact: Graham Paul – Tower Captain.
Telephone: 01604 832291;
Contact the Bellringers here