Image for Still Ringing After All These Years: A Short History of BellsNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

The sound of bells ringing is deeply rooted in British culture. Bells provide the grand soundtrack to our historic moments, call out for our celebrations and toll sadly in empathy with our grief. No important event seems complete without their colourful ringing.

But how did bells become so rooted in our culture and entwined with our national identity?

Richard Taylor travels the country to unravel the 1,500 years of history that have made bells such a key British sound. He meets the people who work with bells and those who understand their significance in our past and present. The story he tells is an extraordinary one.

Richard explores the magical qualities of bells and how they came to be synonymous with Christian worship. He discovers how they diversified to impact on every aspect of medieval life - and how some of the practices which originated then still hold sway in our modern lives. He gets to the bottom of what bell ringing is and how this 'sport' came to represent the sound of England, and he reveals how bells embodied the hopes of the nation in her darkest hours.

We have heard the sound of bells so many times that we can take them for granted - it is time to prick up our ears and listen to their incredible story.

Last on

Sun 8 Jul 2012 23:55 BBC Four

Credits

Presenter
Richard Taylor
Presenter
Richard Taylor
Executive Producer
Paul Sommers
Executive Producer
Paul Sommers
Producer
Grace Chapman
Producer
Grace Chapman
Director
Grace Chapman
Director
Grace Chapman

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