Consigned for inclusion within our August 27th auction is this extremely rare church bell pulley wheel from St. Michael’s Church in the parish of Cumnor, Oxfordshire, and accompanied by an original signed, framed and glazed pen and ink study of the church itself. (Pictured right)
Dating back to the 17th century this huge 1.6 metre diameter wheelwright hand crafted bell pulley wheel was recently discovered during a clearance of a residence within the same village. Likely removed in 1989 when the Church’s original peal of six bells was augmented to eight.The original bells, one of which this bell pulley wheel would have been partnered with are dated 1620, 1621,1623, 1666, 1700 and 1701.
The presence of bells within churches of England dates back to the 13th Century. Originally a bell would have been attached to a wooden headstock typically with wrought iron spindles at either end. A rope and lever set up attached to the headstock allowed a bell ringer to swing the bell through a small arc enabling the clapper to strike and sound the bell. After several centuries the colloquially referred to ‘swing chiming’ technique derived from the aforementioned chiming lever system gave way to ‘full circle ringing’ by the later introduction of the full pulley wheel. Enabling a bell to be swung at just over 360 degrees, the full wheel pulley provided increased volume and the tonal range that we are more accustomed to today.
This antique architectural piece and other lots can be viewed within our preview catalogue. You can bid online via the easyLive platform or in person at Unit 8,Blackminster Business Park, Blackminster, Evesham, WR11 7RE.
Pre-auction viewing is available at the above address between 10am – 6pm on Friday August 26th and from 9am on auction day August 27th.
NB. The wheel pulley is constructed in 4 quarter sections and can therefore be dismantled for easy transportation.