Calstock Bell Ringers
St Andrew’s Church, Calstock, is a Grade 1 listed building situated in the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is within a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church, which was consecrated around 1290, holds a medieval wall painting of St George and the dragon as well as a painted eighteenth century copy of King Charles’s letter of thanks written to the people of Cornwall in 1643.
The six bells of St Andrew’s have sounded across the Tamar Valley for nearly 250 years. They were cast by Penningtons of Lezant and Stoke Climsland, near Launceston in 1773. They have a special significance in Cornwall, being the first bells in the county on which the new art of Scientific change ringing, or Method, was successfully practised. A plaque in the ringing chamber records the event, which occurred in 1864.
The bells are rung from the ground floor of the tower. The floor of the clock room above is 27 feet above the ground, resulting in a ringing chamber which is taller than optimum. A steel rope-guide has been installed at a height of 15 feet 8 inches to steady the bell-ropes.
Bells 4 and 5 swing north/south along the west wall, whilst the remaining bells swing east/west towards the east of the belfry.
The weights and inscriptions of the Calstock bells are shown below: