A RING of eight bells from Prinknash Abbey, Gloucestershire, is
to be auctioned next month.
The bells, which are estimated to fetch up to £60,000, were cast
in the early 20th century for the Anglican Benedictine community on
Caldey Island, off the coast of Wales. Owing to the size of the
tower, only two could be hung for ringing. The others were fixed,
and could only be struck, or "clocked".
In 1913, the community was received into the Roman Catholic
Church, and in 1928 it moved to Prinknash, near Stroud, which had
been a Benedictine house from Norman times until 1541, when it was
suppressed by Henry VIII. The monks took the six fixed bells with
them, leaving the hanging pair, after the Cistercians who took over
Caldey agreed to fund replacements, cast by the bells' makers,
Taylor's of Loughborough.
The eight bells remained at Prinknash until 1975, when the monks
moved to a new building in the grounds, taking them with them. But
a new belfry was never built, and, in 2008, when the community
moved back to the original house, now known as St Peter's Grange,
the bells were put into storage.
Each of the bells - which range from tenor to treble - is named:
St Aidan; St Aelred; St Bernard; St David; St Gregory; St Benedict;
our Lady; and St Hugh of Lincoln, St Thomas of Canterbury, and All
The sale, organised by the auctioneers Chorley's, at Prinknash
Abbey Park, is on 19 and 20 May.