The Bells at Buckland Monachorum
The Bells at Buckland have a long history and some of the former ringers in the past exploits of ‘ringing the bells through the night’ had to be stood down for their exploits!
Today the Bells have undergone some recent restoration work and there are 8 bells within the Tower, in addition to regular practices the bells are rung for Sunday services and where requested for weddings also. It is attended by a group of ringers with eight being the full complement in the bell chamber which is housed over the West Tower entrance to the church.
From the Nave of the church one can clearly hear above the sound of the bells the captain of bells calling out the ringing routine, which may not be too dissimilar to the ringing style which is customary in many of Devon’s Churches.
The Devonshire Ringing Styles
In Devon we are extremely lucky to have two traditions of ringing styles.
Devon has specialised in call-change ringing. In this style only pairs of bells change at any one time and these are literally called out by the ringing master. Thus, starting with 123456, the first change might be 4 to 5, which would give an order of 123546. This style lays great emphasis on clear striking and this is encouraged by competition ringing where every little variation in place or position is marked. This is a deceptively simple system and the leading exponents are truly masters of their art. The Devon Association represents this style.
Across most of the country the style of ringing known as scientific, method or change ringing predominates. This style operates by altering the sequence of the bells on every stroke of the rope. Thus, if the bells were sounding in the order 123456 then the next stroke would have them sounding 214356 and the stroke after 241635 etc. Until they came back to 123456. With the addition of extra instructions it is possible to ring for three hours or more without repeating the same sequence! This style is represented by the Guild Of Devonshire Ringers
The Captain and his team of bell ringers do us the honour each Sunday and herald the start of our time of corporate Worship. They practice there repertoire each Tuesday.
For more information please speak to Ken Farnham.