Great Orchard Campanile bells
by Jackie Bowditch
These delightful little bells are hung in Richard and Jackie Bowditch’s garage, near Wells in Somerset.
The tenor weighs just over 2cwt and the combined weight of the bells is about 8 ½ cwt.
Richard used to own a foundry just outside Wells, at Dulcote Quarry. When Matthew Higby was restoring the bells from Kennerleigh, in Devon, Richard made moulds from them. He managed to negotiate to buy the old tenor from Chilcompton and used the metal to cast reproductions of the Kennerleigh bells. He added his own inscriptions, which record the date 2004.
The Treble is also inscribed “Matthew Higby tuned me”, the 3rd “Chilcompton old tenor in me”, the 4th “My master is at Kennerleigh”, and the 5th “We were cast at Dulcote Quarry”.
Sadly Richard died in 2014, but the bells are still in regular use.