Restoration of 14th century church bell tower
Posted: 9th October 2010
St Michael's Church, The Cross, Gloucester, GL1 1PA
A church bell tower dating back to the 14th century has been restored to its former glory as part of a new project launched by the Gloucester Civic Trust.
With the help of a £10,000 grant from The Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, the final stage of restoration has been carried out and included re-installation of an 18 century bell.
The bell has an interesting history and was first cast in 1711 by Richard Phelps, a bell maker from Whitchapel Bell Foundry - he also made a bell for St Paul's Cathedral. It was bought and rescued from All Saints Church in High Wycombe to save it from being scrapped and it was recast in 1919.
This final stage of the project adds to the £350,000 already spent on St Michael's Church, after the trust embarked on an ambitious restoration project to bring the church back to life. The church management was taken over by Gloucester Civic Trust in 2007 and is completely run by volunteers. It is now visited by thousands of people, including local residents who have fond memories of the church.
As part of the project, information boards will be on permanent display outside the church so that when it is closed, visitors can read all about the church's fascinating history.
The church's bell tower, listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument, was constructed in 1465 as an add-on to the existing Church of St Michael the Archangel. This church was demolished in 1956 but the bell tower, which housed ten bells, was retained. This played an important role in community life from medieval times up until the start of World War Two.