On Sundays, the meeting place is the North Transept. Enter the Cathedral and turn
left twice to bring you to the tower entrance door. The ascent is quite straightforward.
If the cathedral is closed (e.g. when there is an evening practice), the meeting
place is the "Friend's Door", a small door on the north side, just east of the North
Transept. To avoid any disappointment at being locked-out, intending visitors should
make arrangements with one of the contact persons well in advance. On Sundays cars
may normally be parked in the churchyard on the north side of the cathedral. Visitors
should arrange with “Contact” for parking on a Monday evening.
The conventional 'Middle Eight' of a ring of twelve (9th as tenor) is provided by
substituting the Flat 6th for the 6th bell. A further major octave, with the 11th
(C#) as tenor, can be had by using the Flat 4th and the Flat 8th. There are two 'Minor
Tens': one, in the Melodic Minor Mode, uses bells 2 to 11, with the Flat 6th instead
of the 6th. (Any ring of twelve with a Flat 6th has a Melodic Minor Minor Ten.) Using
bells 2 - 11, with the Flat 4th substituted for the 5th and the Flat 6th substituted
for the 6th, produces the 'Harmonic Minor Ten'. The haunting sound of this ring is
traditionally heard to good effect when ringing with the bells half-muffled on New
Displayed in the Cloisters are five bells from the former ring of eight. Early history
is unclear, but four are medieval bells which may have hung in either or both of
two bell towers at some time. Two, because there was once a separate Clochium as
well as a central tower. During the Victorian restoration, the enthusiasm of the
Revd. Richard Cattley (Minor Canon) for bells and clocks led to the replacement of
the old eight by a new heavy twelve, tenor 50cwts in D. These bells were cast by
Taylor's in 1869 to Lord Grimthorpe's specification. In the previous year they had
cast the 4 1/2 ton Bourdon Bell. These bells were reputedly a good 'back ten', but
a poor twelve, and in 1928 all fifteen ringing bells were recast. They are now generally
acknowledged to be one of the finest rings in the country. The peal total at 31st
December 2015 was 165.
Another notable feature is the wooden sub-frame, or 'Wigwam', which supports the
oak bell frame. This massive cross-braced structure formed from pitch-pine rises
through three floors below the bells and provides additional support to the frame.
The combination of tower and frame movement when these heavy bells are rung means
that they are 'tricky', to say the least!
A further feature of the Victorian restoration was the installation of a carillon
machine to play tunes on fourteen of the fifteen bells. It has seven barrels, with
provision for forty-nine different tunes. (N.B. Carillon out of action for the foreseeable