St Edith's Beck & Bells Project

A time-lapse video of phase 1 of our project to repair and re-hang the church bells. This footage was filmed on day two of the works.


A real-timevideo of phase 1 of our project to repair and re-hang the church bells. This footage was filmed over two days.


Our project

We hope to preserve some of the oldest artefacts in St Edith’s church for future generations to appreciate.

Work to the bells

The work entails

Removing the three bells from the bell frame.
Drilling a centre hole and removing the cast-in crown staple.
Provision of new wooden hardwood deadstocks for each bell.
Fitting the new deadstocks, recessed to accept the canons of the bell.
Fitting canon-retaining strap work to secure the bells to the headstocks.
Provision of securing ironwork to hold the deadstocks to the bell frame.
Installing the deadstocks and bells into the existing bell frame.
Installation of an electromagnetic hammer beside each bell, and a control panel.
Fitting ropes and sallies so that the bells can also be sounded by hand.

The BECK AND BELLS is a year-long project run by the Parochial Church Council (PCC) of St Edith’s, Bishop Wilton. It involves the repair of the three church bells, which have been silent for at least five years; a heritage weekend in October 2022 at Bishop Wilton Hall with an exhibition and cine film shows; and the launch of a 420-page book about the village, its characters and their history. There will also be walks along the village beck for school pupils and other residents, a ‘ringing day’ and a new display in the church about the project.

The project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Church of England's Church Care Scheme and generous donations by local residents.For more information please contact Susan Frost on 01759 368445 or

St Edith's Beck & Bells Project

The Beck & Bells project held the official launch of its book "A Local History of Bishop Wilton" on the weekend of 8/9th October. It was a huge success. The exhibition was visited by more than 300 people over the weekend and we have sold more than 50% of our stocks of books - so if you want one you had better move quickly. They can be bought on-line by clicking the image opposite. The price is £34.79 includes postage and packaging. Or if you are local you can get one form the village shop for £27.50.

All proceeds go to the upkeep of the church building of St Edith's, Bishop WIlton.

For the past five years the three historically important bells of St Edith’s Church in Bishop Wilton have been silent. We wish to repair and rehang the bells so that they can once again sound out over the village and the surrounding Yorkshire Wolds.
Two of the bells are of such an age and interest that they are considered to be of national importance.
The treble bell, which is the smallest, was cast in 1649 by Abraham Smith, the first of a family of founders who had the ‘bell house’ on Toft Green in York from 1635-1671.
The largest bell, the tenor, was made by Abraham’s son Samuel. It is of considerable interest because its date of 1687 places it in the post-Restoration period of bell founding. It is in its original condition with its canons intact, and it has not been tuned.

The middle bell is the work of Robert Dalton of York, and dated 1791. It is of regional importance, and records the names of the Vicar and Churchwardens at the time. It is untuned, unlike many of his surviving bells.

Bell inscriptions

    ‘Soli Deo Gloria Pax Hominibus 1649 MPD PH.’
    ‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo 1687.’
    ‘Glory to God in the highest Alleluia Dalton Fecit York 1791; Tho Williamson. Tho Dickson. Churchwardens.’

The church bells are very much loved in the village. As well as being rung for Sunday service and village events such as weddings and funerals, they have sounded at significant national moments. Over the centuries the bells have formed part of the soundscape of Bishop Wilton and they are sadly missed.

© Garrowby Churches 2020 | Privacy policy