Carlisle Cathedral has a ring of 13 bells (tenor 21cwt) in the key of E flat. Ten bells were cast and hung in a new frame in 1999 and three treble bells (including a sharp second) were added between 2000 and 2005. Five of the original ring of eight bells are also preserved in the belfry including Maria who was cast in 1401 and had served the church community for six hundred years.
Bells 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and12 (maintaining social distance) have been rung at Friday evening practices and for Sunday morning services since the restrictions were eased in May. From 19 July the bells will be rung as normal for practices and services but only by members of the band. Unfortunately, we cannot welcome visitors at the moment but will do so when local and national infection rates are considered safe to do so.
JOIN OUR BELL-RINGERS
Fridays from 7.00pm to 8.30pm
All visiting ringers (and non-ringers) are very welcome but should first contact Anne East on 01228 513633 to ensure that ringing is taking place and we can accommodate you safely in the tower. Meet at the south door at 6.15pm. The door will be locked shortly afterwards and visitors arriving after that time will not be able to join the practice.
Sundays 9.30am to 10.30am
All visiting ringers are very welcome. Non-ringing visitors should first contact Anne East on 01228 513633 to ensure that we can accommodate you safely in the tower. Meet at the crossing inside the Cathedral at 9.20am
LEARN TO RING
The ringers are pleased to welcome anyone who would like to learn how to ring or is just interested in the history of bells and bellringing. There are six experienced teachers of ringing available. The tower also has a simulator which allows bell handling to be taught without disturbing the surrounding community. Individual teaching lessons can be offered on most days.
Visit the Bells
The route to the ringing room includes both a climb of 117 steps and a walk along the entire length of the Cathedral clerestory. There is a platform above the bells in the belfry (a further 20 steps) which allows them to be viewed in safety.
BELL-TOWER OPEN DAYS
Bell tower Open Days give visitors the chance to climb the steps to the tower, discover some of the history of the Cathedral and its bells and see the bell-ringers in action.
Tours last about 45 minutes and also give magnificent views of the medieval glass in the Eastern window, the Ewan Christian ceiling and the Father Willis organ. Places must be booked in advance ON THE DAY FROM 10.00 AM IN THE NORTH AISLE OF THE CATHEDRAL where visitors will find the reception desk.
Note that children must be at least 8 years of age and there are 137 steps to climb to the bell chamber.
Occasionally the bell-ringers will provide a set of ‘minibells’ (pictured) for persons who cannot ascend the tower and for children and members of the public to ring. They are rung in the same manner as the tower bells but the heaviest minibell weighs only 10 lbs 6 oz or 4¾ kg so they can be handled in safety
OPEN DAY for 2021
Heritage Open Day: Saturday, 11 September (to be confirmed)
For the history of OUR BELLS, CLICK HERE