Bell Ringing

There are 8 bells in the tower at Biddenham. A number of them date back to 1787.

The bells are rung regularly before the Sunday Services and for weekly practices on Thursday evenings from 19.45-21.00.

There may be additional ringing for weddings, funerals, festivals such as Christmas and Easter, hosting visiting bands, and also for peals and quarter peals, often rung for special occasions of local or national significance such as the King’s Coronation.

Details of any additional ringing are published on the website at least a week in advance.

Visitors are always welcome to the tower to participate in or observe the ringing at the above times, or at other times by arrangement. Please contact the tower captain if you would like to visit.

Forthcoming additional bell ringing events:

Friday 26th April (10.00-13.00) There will be an attempt to ring a full peal to mark the 140th anniversary of the first ever peal by the Bedfordshire Association of Church Bell Ringers that was rung at Biddenham (26 April 1884). Please see an article in “The Loop” for further information about this.

Tuesday 28th May (10.45-12.30) – visiting band of ringers.


What is Bell Ringing?


Bell ringing is a team activity for people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Although some ringers are members of the church where they ring the bells, many ringers aren’t. You don’t have to be a church goer to ring the bells at a church. Many ringers consider ringing to be their contribution to church life, others do it for the pure pleasure and the company it brings.

Bell ringing is an excellent way to keep both mind and body fit and active. Ringers are part of an inclusive and extensive community – at their local tower, within the county, across the UK, and even internationally.

Ringing is an important part of Church life and there is a long history associated with the bells and ringing at Biddenham which dates back to the 16th century, pre-dating the current ring of bells by almost 200 years.

The Bells of St. James’s

The church has eight bells. The tower which accommodates the bells was built in two stages; the lower part in the 13th century, and the upper parts completed in the 15th century.

The original six bells were cast at the Wootton bell foundry by William Emmerton in 1787.

In 1896 the tenor bell was recast by Taylors of Loughborough after it cracked.

In 1986 two extra bells were added, making the eight that can be heard today.

In 1994 the sixth bell cracked and was weld repaired

The tenor (heaviest bell) weighs 12 cwt, 3 qtrs, 18 lbs (approximately 650 kg).

Want to know more?

Bell ringing is known as Campanology  You will find many useful references on this subject, but the Bedfordshire Association of Bell Ringers web site provides information on Bell Ringing in the local area.

For more national (and international) information try the The Ringing World, the weekly journal of Church Bell ringers which provides news and information on Bell Ringing around the world.

You can find out more about ringing click here or better still, come and see us “up the tower”!

Simon Smith, Tower Captain (