Leeds & West Yorkshire

Mirfield church's new bells on display after revamp

Bells being transported on a lorry from St Mary's Mirfield Image copyright Janice Barker
Image caption The bells fell silent for the first time in 144 years when they were taken down last April

A West Yorkshire church's new set of bells have gone on display after the old ones were taken down and restored.

The 10 bells at the Grade II-listed St Mary's church, in Mirfield, fell silent for the first time in 144 years when they were taken down last April.

Six of the bells were melted down and recast while four have been re-tuned.

After five months of work, the bells have arrived back and are on show before installation starts on Monday.

It will take three weeks for all 10 to be fully installed before they can be heard ringing again just after Easter, the church said.

Church warden Ruth Edwards said: "I'm very excited and emotional to see them back.

"It's taken three years from the idea of having them recast to raising the money and now having them installed."

Image copyright Janice Barker
Image caption Six of the bells were melted down and recast at the foundry in Loughborough where they were originally produced in 1869

A blessing of the bells is due to take place during the church's morning service on Sunday.

Tower Captain Ian Ackroyd, who manages the bell tower, said he was looking forward to hearing the new set of bells ringing with "an improved sound".

Image copyright Janice Barker
Image caption The bells had to be lowered, one at a time, through a hole in the ringing room floor down to the floor of the church to remove them

The bells were originally cast in 1869 at a foundry in Loughborough, where they were taken back for restoration. The whole project cost £87,000 and was funded through donations.

Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the church opened in 1871.

Scott also designed the Albert Memorial in London and Edinburgh Cathedral among many well-known buildings.

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