In the 15th century oak bell frame was erected in the top of Laxfield Tower, originally for five bells then later extended for six. This is the frame that is currently in use and is a beautiful structure, but is no longer sufficiently robust to withstand the forces of six bells being rung for any extended period of time. The tower moves when the bells are rung!
Four bells were originally installed into the frame, two of these still remain from their original casting and as our two oldest bells have special listed status. Today they are rung as numbers 3 and 5.
The 5th was cast in Norwich sometime between 1437 to 1470, this is also the clock bell striking each hour. The 3rd was cast in 1498 in Bury St Edmunds.
The other two of the original four were recast in 1873 and are currently rung as numbers 2 and 4.
In 1760 a new bell was added to the frame. This is our lightest bell (No 1, our Treble weighing 250 kg) and was cast by Whitechapel Bell Foundry.
In 1804 the frame was adapted to hold six bells including our largest bell (Tenor, weighing 750kg).
In 1873 a firm from Eye (Days) removed two of the four original bells for recasting in London, strengthened the oak frame and reinstated the bells.
The Tenor bell cracked and was recast by Alfred Bowell in 1922 at a cost of £40 and records show that all six bells were also rehung for fee of £75.
That was the last time significant work was undertaken on Laxfield bells; nearly a century ago.
We hope you find our site interesting and return regularly to view progress on our restoration project via the webcam and the blog.
If you would like to get in touch please use the link above.