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The Bell in the Belltower

Ever wonder about the bell that rings on Sunday before service, calling all to church on Sunday morning? The bell, a gift from Sam Brown, Esq., is almost as old as the church building. Our historian Lynn Farnell recently came across some notes indicating that it was first hung in the tower in 1822 during May or June. The bell cracked at some point after that and was recast in 1839.

The bell was cast by Major George Holbrook at the Holbrook Bell Foundry in Wrentham, MA who apprenticed under Paul Revere. His bell foundry was the only one in the country from 1816 to 1820. It was generally thought to be the successor to the Revere bell foundry. Holbrook won medals for the “general superiority and pure musical tones” of his bells.

John Turtle has climbed into the steeple to photograph the bell as it is today.

Historical information on the bell: THE_HOLBROOK_BELL_FOUNDRY_OF_EAST_MEDWAY.pdf

The bell as it hangs  in the belfry today. There are 2 pivot points, one on each side of the bell. Today the bell  does not swing.

The bell as it hangs  in the belfry today

This picture shows  the name George H Holbrook

The two pictures above show the word “Mass”  and the date “1839”

Looking up  inside of the bell with the clapper

A hammer that at one time must have been used to  strike the bell –   note in the  picture that the hammer must have  chipped the rim of bell. It was  discontinued.

In the two pictures above one can see the “hammers of hell” that today strike  (ring)  the bell today.    Run by an electric motor they alternately are raised and drop – striking the  bell. (I the choir loft you can easily feel the physical shock as  they hit the bell.)

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