Those of you who are frequent readers of these pages will be familiar with the title. You can still read about – and hear – the bells in the St Mary’s website . The bells of St Mary’s Church in the village of Bitton, North Gloucester, are the sound I hear every Sunday morning as I walk along the lanes. From the main road, once the Roman road Via Julia, it’s almost impossible to hear more than the occasional snatch between the roaring and banging of traffic as it hurtles through on its way towards either Bath or Bristol. But in the early 1500s Jane Seymour, the third wife of King Henry VIII, would have heard them loud and clear from her room nextdoor at The Grange, which still stands.
On Monday evenings, though, the bells get their own back. The traffic has dwindled by then and the ringers at their practice can be sure they’re heard from many miles around.
And if you think church bells are just like any other bells, get a big surprise here.