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Grundisburgh
St Mary the Virgin

SE District

Grundisburgh.
Grundisburgh © 2006 Mary Garner
12 bells 9-2-24 in G Excellent going order
Practice Night: Thursday
Sunday Service Ringing: 10.00am. Not 5th.
Tower Correspondent: 01394 286246
Directions: Map Grid ref. TM223511
Peal Records
Tower Plaque.
Plaque on New Tower © Stephen Pettman

Grundisburgh houses a light ring of 12 with an interesting story. The former tower collapsed around 1700 and was replaced with current brick tower. However 3 of the bells must have survived as they form the current 8th and 10th and also the old tenor, which was replaced in 2008.

By 1897 they had become a ring of 8, which were notorious because of the alarming tower sway. Notwithstanding, 71 peals had been rung on the bells by the outbreak of World War II in 1939. There was a crack in the window sill of the ringing chamber in which it was possible to crack nuts!

Cecil (Jim) Pipe.
Cecil (Jim) Pipe
© Stephen Pettman

After the war, Cecil “Jim” Pipe (George’s father) launched an appeal to augment to a ring of ten. This came to fruition in 1949. The bells were lowered in the tower between 2 concrete ring beams. Although the tower was more stable, there was still considerable movement - e.g. movement can be felt in the bell chamber with just the treble being rung! Jim was insistent that they were rehung on plain bearings to minimise the effect of the sway on handling. This worked very well until the bearings started to wear out.

At the time of the augmentation to 12 in 1991, most of the bells were put on ball bearings. In 2008 when the tenor (new tenor picture below) was replaced, they were all on ball bearings (new tenor picture). They are definitely more difficult to ring because of this but no-one has come up with a suitable modern low maintenance plain bearing. To date there have been 847 peals, making Grundisburgh Suffolk’s leading peal tower. One other thing that Jim Pipe always maintained was that the 9th was actually cast at Whitechapel and not by Warners - it was around the time that Warners went out of business.

Stephen Pettman

New Tenor.
Grundisburgh's New Tenor Arriving at Church
© Stephen Pettman
Back Three Bells.
Back Three Bells
© Stephen Pettman
Peal Boards.
Peal Boards © Stephen Pettman

Full details of the bells: https://dove.cccbr.org.uk/detail.php?tower=11974