Eight bells have hung in the belfry of St Bartholomew's for just over 100 years, however, prior to this there were six bells (check the Ringing History page for more information). When the two trebles were added things had to be rearranged somewhat. At present, the second and third are on a separate smaller frame raised above the other six. All of the bells have wooden headstocks and sit in a wooden frame. Their musical and physical characteristics are given below, together with some inscriptions.

Bell Weight
Diameter Note Year
Treble 5-1-11 272 2' 4" F 1900
Second 5-2-25 291 2' 5" E 1900
Third 6-3-8 347 2' 7" D 1814
Fourth 7-0-14 362 2' 9" C 1814
Fifth 8-1-25 430 3' 0" Bb 1814
Sixth 9-1-26 482 3' 1" A 1814
Seventh 11-0-24 570 3' 4" G 1814
Tenor 16-0-2 814 3' 9" F 1814

Total Weight of Bells: 70 cwt, 23 lbs; 3,567 kg

Bell Inscription
Treble This bell was presented by Thomas Hyde of Colne, Manufacturer, March A.D. 1900
Second This bell was presented by Thomas Hyde of Colne, Manufacturer, March A.D. 1900

Hear the bells of Colne ring a few changes. Two files are available for download or playing on-line:

colne_peal.zip [290 kb] - 16 changes (38 secs), zipped WAV file. Opening changes of a peal of Grandsire Triples rung in December 2000.

rounds.mp3 [5 kb] - 2 changes (4 secs), requires Windows Media Player or equivalent


In 1996 the bell-ropes were raised from the ground floor, where they were inside the main church and in view of the congregation, to the current ringing room upstairs. Several of the old ropes were replaced in the following years. Considerable work was carried out in the ringing room, such as knocking out the old plaster from the walls and laying a carpet. Old pieces of carpet were also placed on the floor of the belfry to dampen the noise in the ringing room directly below.

In the summer of 1999 the present tower captain, Kevin Pickup, and then regular visitor Brian Sutcliffe, carried out substantial work on the sixth bell. The sole-plate attached to the bell's wooden headstock - harbouring one of the gudgeon pins on which the bell pivots - had cracked and was in urgent need of attention. As this task would have potentially cost thousands of pounds if undertaken by professional bell-hangers, Kevin and Brian decided to carry out the work themselves, investing considerable time and effort. They supported the sixth by placing layers of wood underneath then essentially stripped the bell of its trappings. Fortunately Kevin's father, a skilled engineer, was able to fabricate a replacement sole-plate, in itself something worth a handsome sum if made professionally. The sixth is now one of the best bells in the tower.

Other adjustments were also made at this time, mainly involving turning the headstock of the fourth around by 180 to bring its rope down on the other side of the bell, resulting in an improved rope circle in the ringing room below. In addition, in December 1999 the clapper of the tenor was re-hung on bearings as the old one exhibited too much movement. August 2000 saw the wheel of the seventh reconditioned and most of the bell's parts stripped and repainted. In November 2000 the sixth and seventh were given a once over in preparation for the December peal. During April 2001 the tenor was also stripped down and much of its metalwork repainted.

click for larger image The tenor without
its headstock prior
to painting
click for larger image Kevin refitting parts
of the headstock
after painting the
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