Restoration work to start on Long Stratton church bells

The long fight to save six historic church bells from a Norfolk church will finally achieve its goal next week when restoration work begins.

The bells at St Mary's Church, in Long Stratton, most of which are about 400 years old, will be taken down from the church tower on Tuesday for the first time in 100 years and transported to Whitechapel Bell Foundry, in London, to be restored so bell ringers can get a full peal from them.

In November, church members spoke of their delight after receiving a �34,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to help with the cost of the restoration, which will involve repair work and retuning before the bells can be rehung in the church.

Rev Elisabeth Spry, assistant priest and tower manager, said hoists would be attached to the bells, which would then be lowered through two trap doors to the church grounds to be lifted on to a vehicle to be moved to London.

One of the bells, which dates back to 1320, is believed to be the oldest in Norfolk, while the heaviest weighs half a tonne.

Children from Long Stratton Primary School will also be visiting to play music and look at the bells, which will ring out at services, weddings and special occasions for decades to come.

The church's 17th century turret clock, which stopped working two years ago, will also be repaired and the church members have raised additional funds to help pay for the work.

Most Read

The project is expected to be completed by Easter.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter