The Past


There have been bells in St. Peter’s church for many centuries.

It is notable that today’s bells weigh almost double that of the original bells in the tower.

Records tell us that the SIX bells were recast in 1603, and again in 1810, when their total weight was 38cwt 3 qtrs and 3 lbs. Again the peal was recast in 1889 and two bells added, bringing the total weight to 52cwt and 3 qtrs.

In 1894, following receipt of a legacy from a wealthy London merchant, Mr John Hill who had grown up in Newnham, the present ring of EIGHT bells was recast by the Master Founders, Mears and Stainbank, Whitechapel.

The total weight of the bells was increased again to 72cwt and 3 qtrs.

Records show that the bells were rung regularly in the early 1900s, silent during the Second World War, then less frequently until the 1970s. Local Forest of Dean Ringers attempted to patch up the bells again in 1982, and for about 5 years from 1987 a number of Newnham teenagers learnt the art of bellringing, but found the bells very difficult and progress to be slow.