Category Archives: Towers

Middleton, Saint Leonard

The Parish Church of Saint Leonard, Middleton.

There are nine bells hung in the tower at Saint Leonard’s Church. The oldest of these is the Sanctus bell, 0-2-24 in F#, was cast in 1614 by Robert Orwell.  Of the eight ringing bells the current back six bells, 3 – 8, were cast in 1714 by Abraham I Rudhall. The two trebles were added in 1891, by Mears and Stainbank, to form the current ring of eight.

A peal of 5,300 Anniversary Surprise Major  was rung in September 2014 with the following footnote to mark the 300th anniversary:

This peal is dedicated to the 300th Anniversary of the back six bells at Middleton, which were cast in 1714 by Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester.
Two additional treble bells were added in 1891, funded by public subscription, to augment to the current eight.

The curious-looking wooden belfry was added on top of the medieval tower in 1666. According to Saint Leonard’s website this was to enable a new set of bells to be added.

About The Bells

Dedication: Saint Leonard
Bells: 8 bells. Tenor 11-2-18 (588 kg) in F♯
Association: Lancashire Association / Rochdale Branch
Practice Night: Monday 8pm – 9pm
Sunday Ringing: 10.15am – 10.45am
Address: New Lane, Middleton, Lancashire. M24 6BW

Visiting The Church

There is a large car park at the church when accessed from New Lane.

Find Saint Leonard’s on Google Maps

Heywood, Saint Luke

Saint Luke's, Heywood.

Saint Luke’s, Heywood.

There are 8 bells hung in the tower at Saint Luke’s cast by Gillett and Johnston and installed in 1911 as a tribute to King Edward VII. The tenor bell was found to be cracked in 1920 and the bells were recast. In 1971 the bells were lowered by 20 foot in the the tower to reduce sway. The original bells were cast by Mears & Co of Whitechapel London and were dedicated in 1863.

Saint Luke’s Church was consecrated in October 1862 replacing a chapel on the same site from 1552.

About The Bells

Dedication: Saint Luke
Bells: 8 bells. Tenor 21-3-9 (626 kg) in E♭
Association: Lancashire Association / Rochdale Branch
Practice Night: Monday 7.30pm – 9pm
Sunday Ringing: 9am – 9.30am for 9.30am service
Address: York Street, Heywood, Lancashire. OL10 4NN

Visiting The Church

There is no parking at the church, but spaces are normally available in the car park beside the Civic Centre and Library. The entrance is just off Church Street (A6046) in Hornby Road.

Find Saint Luke’s on Google Maps

Farnworth and Kearsley

The Church of Saint John, Farnworth and Kearsley

Saint John, Farnworth & Kearsley.

Saint John, Farnworth & Kearsley.

There are 8 bells hung in the tower at Saint John’s cast by John Taylor and Co of Loughborough and installed in 1954.

The Church was built in 1826 as a Waterloo church, funded on the wave of national triumph following the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, and there has been many modifications and extensions made over the years. The most recent was in 1998 and included roofing, decorating, windows and rewiring. During 2008 the church was used as a location for All The Small Things.

Peals are rung on the bells monthly by members of the Lancashire Association.

About The Bells

Dedication: Saint John The Evangelist
Bells: 8 bells. Tenor 12-1-8 (626 kg) in G
Association: Lancashire Association / Bolton Branch
Practice Night: Currently no practice
Sunday Ringing: Currently no regular Sunday ringing
Address: Church Street, Farnworth, Bolton. BL4 8DA

Visiting The Church

Saint John’s’ church is at the bottom of Church Street in Farnworth. Although it is possible to park in Church Street, it is quite narrow and difficult to turn round, most regular visiting ringers park in Albert Street which is off Church Road. Albert Street is very close to the side entrance in Church Road and has plenty of parking on either side of the road. The Church is also very close to Farnworth railway station.

Find Saint John’s on Google Maps


Blackburn, Saint Silas

The Church of Saint Silas, Blackburn

Blackburn. Saint Silas' Church.

Blackburn. Saint Silas’ Church.

There are 8 bells hung in the tower at Saint Silas installed in 1983. The bells were cast in 1888 by John Taylor and Co of Loughborough and were originally hung in Holy Trinity, Blackburn a mile or so down the road. The ring is in the key of F with the tenor bell weighing 17-2-14 (895 kg). The last peal on the bells at Holy Trinity was Plain Bob Major in 1949. There have been 57 peals rung on the bells: 22 of those at Holy Trinity and, at the time of writing this, 35 at Saint Silas. There is a group of peal boards in the tower relating to peals rung at Holy Trinity.

The main body of the church were completed in 1898 with the tower and porch added in 1914.

About The Bells

Dedication: Saint Silas
Bells: 8 bells. Tenor 17-2-14 (895 kg) in F
Association: Lancashire Association / Blackburn Branch
Practice Night: Friday 8pm
Sunday Ringing: 10am to 10.30am
Address: Preston New Road, Blackburn. BB2 6PS

Visiting The Church

Saint Silas’ church is on raised ground on the north side of Preston New Road very close to the junction with Saint Silas’s Road. There is limited parking available outside the church, but there is normally ample parking available along Preston New Road.

Find Saint Silas on Google Maps

Ten, Eight and Six of Eight

Or . . . Three in a day.

Nothing really spectacular in ringing, but I think worth of note. Today for Remembrance Sunday  we rang at all three Blackburn towers for the morning services. As far as we know it has never been done before. Seven of us rang at all three towers.

  • 08:45 to 09:30 The Cathedral Church of Saint Mary the Virgin – 11 ringers present
  • 10:00 to 10:30 Saint Silas – 10 ringers present
  • 11:00 – 11:45 Saint Judes – 11 ringers present
Blackburn Cathedral. Lancashire.

Blackburn Cathedral. Lancashire.

Blackburn. Saint Silas' Church.

Blackburn. Saint Silas’ Church.

Blackburn. Saint Jude's Church

Blackburn. Saint Jude’s Church

Worsley, Saint Mark

The Parish Church of Saint Mark, Worsley

Saint Mark's Church, Worsley

Saint Mark’s Church, Worsley

Saint Mark’s Church now has a ring of 10 bells cast in 1935 by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough and tuned to the Taylor’s True Harmonic System (see blow). When the church was consecrated in 1846 there were 3 bells in the tower. This was augmented to 8 bells in 1873 with the tenor weighing 20 cwt (1,020 kg). By the mid 1920s the bells were described as “a mixed lot, not very well in tune“.

The church is located very close to the Worsley junction with the Manchester orbital M60 motorway. The impressive spire is easy to spot when approaching on the motorway.

About The Bells

Dedication: Saint Mark
Bells: 10 bells. Tenor 24-0-7 (1,222 kg) in D
Association: Lancashire Association / Manchester Branch
Practice Night: Tuesday 7.30pm to 9pm
Sunday Ringing: 10am to 10.30am and 6pm to 6.30pm
Address: Worsley Brow, Worsley, Manchester. M28 2HL
Architect: George Gilbert Scott

Visiting The Bells

Find Saint Mark’s Church on Google Maps.


There is a car park next to the church. The entrance is in Walkden Road, the A575, and is signposted “Footpath / Bishop’s Lodge”. Once you have turned of Walkden Road turn almost immediately right which will take you to the car park.

There is also a lay-by at the west end of the church on Worsley Brow, the A572, where parking is available for short periods of time.


Taylor’s True Harmonic tuning System has the prime and hum of each bell in octaves with the nominal of the bell. If you want the details then Bill Hibbert provides more information on this method of tuning on his The Sound of Bells page.

Blackburn Saint Jude’s

The Church of Saint Jude, Blackburn

Blackburn. Saint Jude’s Church

The church of Saint Thomas with Saint Jude stands on Accrington Road on the north east side of the Lancashire town of Blackburn. The church has a detached tower with a light ring of eight bells, rung from the ground floor, installed in 2015.

The original church of Saint Jude was consecrated in 1914, but was demolished in the 1990s as the congregation dwindled. Today only the original tower survives. The church building was replaced by a combined church and community centre which stands there today.

A set of eight bells cast by Gillet and Johnston were installed as a chime in 1932 and were capable of playing 72 hymn tunes. Four of the original bells have been retained as the 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the current ring. The original front four bells have gone to the Malta Maritime Museum.

About The Bells

Dedication: Saint Thomas with Saint Jude
Bells: 8 bells. Tenor 6-0-24 (316 kg) in D flat
Association: Lancashire Association / Blackburn Branch
Practice Night: Wednesday 7.30pm to 9pm
Sunday Ringing: Second Sunday of the month from 11.15am to 12.00pm
Address: Junction of Didsbury Street and Accrington Road, Blackburn. BB1 2AB

Visiting The Tower

The church welcomes visitors, quarter peals and peals being rung on the bells.  There is a flat fee for quarter peals of £2 a rope (score or not) and for a peal attempt £5 a rope (score or not).

How To Find The Church

The Church is located on the corner of Didsbury Street and Accrington Road. There is abundant free parking in the area. Parking in Didsbury Street is popular.

Find Saint Jude’s on Google Maps

More About The Bells

The current bells were cast by John Taylor and Co of Loughborough and were installed in 2015.

Blackburn Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of Saint Mary the Virgin

Blackburn Cathedral

Blackburn Cathedral

The former Parish Church of Saint Mary the Virgin Blackburn was elevated to Cathedral status in 1926 when the Diocese of Blackburn was created. The Parish Church was originally built in 1826 and work that began in the 1930s completed during the late 1970s and the current Cathedral was consecrated.

About The Bells

Dedication: Cathedral Church of Saint Mary the Virgin
Bells: 10 bells. Tenor 25-1-14 (1.3 tonne) in D
Association: Lancashire Association / Blackburn Branch
Practice Night: Thursday 8pm to 9.30pm
Sunday Ringing: 09.50am to 10.30am
Address: Darwen Street, Blackburn. BB1 5AA

Contact us on Facebook:

Peals On The Bells

The Dean and Chapter encourage peals being rung on the bells and we always welcome enquiries. There is no fee for quarter peals and for a peal attempt there is a standard fee of £5 a rope. If you would like to book the bells then please let us know.

Most peals are rung on a Wednesday evening (with a 6pm start) and Sunday afternoons finishing with the bells rung down for the 4pm service.

How To Find The Cathedral

Recent changes (November 2015) in the one way system at the top end of Mincing Lane now require cars to turn left into King Street and then immediately right (Barton Street) and right again (Cardwell Place) to access Darwen Street via Astley Gate. If you are approaching from the west, Bank Top, then it is best to follow the road into Blackburn and carry straight on, when the roads turns right, into King Street. At the end of the one way section of King Street turn left into Barton Street and right into Cardwell Place to access Darwen Street via Astley Gate.

Find the Cathedral on Google Maps


When visiting the Cathedral the best places to park are:

  • on Darwen Street (pay and display) there are various bays in Darwen Street just down from the Market Street Lane junction and all the way down. Outside BBC Radio Lancashire is popular, but there are only a few spaces.
  • Saint Peter Street or Mill Lane (both pay and display)
  • During the week and a weekends there is a pay and display car park next to Fleming Square with the entrance at the top end of Mincing Lane. This car park charges £3 for 5 hours parking and it very close to the Cathedral.
  • I understand it is also possible to park at Morrisons for a small charge,

Since building work commenced in 2014 there is very limited parking available in the Cathedral grounds. You are politely requested not to park on the flags outside the west entrance.

For parking in the town centre I recommend the Visit Blackburn website. This provides details or car parks. There is a good quantity of on street parking available in Darwen Street and Saint Peter’s Street. Please check carefully as parking changes almost as often as the one way systems.

More About The Bells

The current bells were cast by John Taylor and Co of Loughborough and were installed in 1949. More details are shown below.

14-3-222' 3"F#In memory of W. E. Wilson, Ringer and Belfry Master 1887 - 1943. Also Edward Wilson 1933 - 1946. T. Wilson, Captain
25-1-162' 4 ½"EVivos voco, mortuos plango, fulgura frango (I call the living, I mourn the dead, I overpower the thunder)
35-3-82' 6"DLaudo Deum, plebum voco, congrego clerum, defunctos ploro, pestem fugo, festa decoro (I praise God, I call the people, I assemble the clergy, I lament the departed, I drive away the plague, I proclaim the feasts)
46-1-122' 7"C#Funera plango, fulgura frango, Sabbata pango (I tell funerals, I subdue the thunder, I declare the Sabbath)
57-0-252' 9"BExcito lentos, dissipo ventos, paco cruentos (I hasten the tardy, I scatter the winds, I pacify the angry)
68-1-62' 11"ANomen Jesu Christie, tu attendas er defendas (O name of Jesus Christ, turn Thou and succor us)
710-1-73' 2 ½"GTe laudamus et rogamus; nos a morte tristi (We praise thee and we pray; deliver us from sad death). 1949
812-1-223' 5"F#This belfry was restored and the clock, with chimes, renewed in 1949. T. Stirrup, J. W. Wilson, J. L. Heppard, V. J. Abbott, Churchwardens.
917-2-233' 10"EIn memory of those of this congregation and diocese who gave their lives in the war 1939-45.
1025-1-144' 4"DThis peal was recast and enlarged in 1949, while extensions to the Cathedral were being made. W. Hare, Treasurer, Cathedral Fabric Funds from 1934, and of the Bishopric in 1926.

Prior to 1949 the Cathedral had a ring of ten bells 15cwt in F. The back six were cast by Rudhall of Gloucester and four trebles were added in 1852 cast by Mears & Co of Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London.

Hear & See The Bells Ringing