The Bells of St Peter's Church - The Ringing Chamber

The ringing chamber contains a large peal board recording the details of peals rung for the Salisbury Diocesan Guild of Ringers on the bells, together with smaller boards with details of other peals and quarter peals. It also contains a small library.

The bells could be rung in two different ways, in addition to ringing in the traditional manner.

The first of these was by means of the Ellacombe Chiming Apparatus. This device was invented in about 1850, by the Revd. H.T. Ellacombe of Devon, to allow a single person to chime the bells. Until about 1995, it was in regular use on the first Sunday of the month, and the congregation was welcomed to services by the sound of hymn tunes rung on the bells.

Secondly, there is a Silent Ringing Apparatus, which is, unfortunately, no longer serviceable. This was installed early in the last century, for teaching purposes. It may also have been used for practice during World War II, when bell ringing was forbidden until 1943, unless to sound a general alarm. The bell clappers would have been tethered, and the bells rung in the normal way. Although the bells themselves were silent, an arrangement of levers and pulleys actuated the clappers of a set of hand-bells mounted around the walls of the ringing chamber so that the ringers could gain some feedback from their efforts. Two of these bells are visible in the picture above the large peal board . Nowadays, computers can sometimes be used to help learners in much the same way.