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The first successful peal in Cornwall

Updated: Feb 23, 2019

On Wednesday 7th September 1864

St Andrew's Church, Calstock became the first tower in Cornwall in which a peal was successfully rung using scientific or method ringing. The event is recorded on a document displayed in the ringing chamber.

The ringers at Calstock tower were trained by Harry Salusbury-Trelawny, Gentleman, of the neighbouring Harewood House. Trelawny was an important figure in 19th century ringing circles and was a proponent of belfry reform. He was an enthusiastic advocate of Scientific or Method ringing and promoted change ringing at Calstock by ensuring that his servants and tenants learnt to ring. On the occasion of this first peal Trelawny took the 3rd bell.

The Treble was rung by John Cox

who also conducted the peal. Cox was a

local man who farmed land at Calstock Churchtown.

John Baker rang the 2nd. Together with his son, another John, Baker ran a carpenters and joinery business in Albaston.

The 4th and 5th were taken by Joseph Hooper and John Dormer. Little is known of these men, but in the census data of 1861 and 1871 men of these names appear as copper miners. The mid 19th century was a period of great change in the Tamar Valley and people came and went quite rapidly.

The Tenor was rung by Symons Parish who worked at the mine at Slimeford, just north of Calstock Church.

Many thanks are due to The Revd. Canon Gordon Ruming who researched and provided the information about the ringers.


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