After ruling the roost for centuries, the bells at Lynn’s St Nicholas Chapel have been removed for restoration as part of a £45,000 Lottery-funded project.
Expected to be away from the building for around a year, the bells are set to have their current headstocks – the wooden part the bells hang on – replaced before being rehung.
John Martin, of the Friends of St Nicholas, said: “The bells are specifically not being retuned, and the bell advisor from the Diocese said that once they are rehung, they will have the finest ring in the whole of West Norfolk.
“Before, they couldn’t ring properly because mechanically, the system wasn’t working properly so we decided to run this as an additional project to the ongoing restoration work at the chapel.”
When rehung, the bells will be pulled back into the bell ringing chamber through the new disabled toilet, which sits just below.
John said: “One of the great features of St Nicholas Chapel is that you can see the bell-ringing chamber from the main chapel and as part of the restoration work the floor will be raised making it even more visible.”
The chapel’s bell-ringing chamber has been home to a variety of bells over the years, all boasting a rich history and dating back hundreds of years. In 1550, they were sold to buy arms for the defence of the town, with only one bell left behind.
Following this, a peal was recast and added to, before finally, in 1987, a new set of eight was recast, forming the current peal of bells. The clock bell dates from 1631, signed by John Drape of Norwich, and was originally in the lantern at Lynn Minster.
John added: “Once the work is complete, the bell tower will have to be populated and a team will have to be sourced from somewhere. It will be an attractive tower and everyone will be welcome to join the bell ringing team.
“There would be a tower captain and a number of trained ringers but you always need more than you think in case some can’t make it along to all events. Lynn Minster is keen to get trainees and train them up ready.”
He added: “Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the project, joining the bell ringing team or donating to the project, please send all enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org”