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Prinknash Abbey bells to be sold

17 April 2015


Appealing: two of the ring of eight bells from Prinknash Abbey to be sold at Chorley's next month

Appealing: two of the ring of eight bells from Prinknash Abbey to be sold at Chorley's next month

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 English Saints.

The sale, organised by the auctioneers Chorley's, at Prinknash Abbey Park, is on 19 and 20 May.

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