Bells have rung in St. George’s Church Pontesbury for over 350 years. The first record, in 1549, is of “three great bells and a Sanctus bell.”
Five of the present ring of six bells were cast in 1681 by Thomas Roberts, a Shrewsbury bell founder. They range in weight from the lightest, treble, at 6cwt, to the tenor, the largest and heaviest, at 13cwt, and are tuned to ring the notes C#, B, A#, G# and F#. These five bells, known to the ringers as numbers 2 to 6, are the only surviving ring of bells cast by Thomas Roberts.
The original tower housing the bells at St. George’s was situated on the north side of the church. When the tower collapsed in the 1820s, the bells were stored before being rehung in the present tower.
The treble, the smallest and lightest bell (5cwt, tuned to D#) was cast and hung in Pontesbury by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London, in 1869, thus completing the ring of six which we ring today.
The six bells are hanging in the belfry, behind the louvered windows at the top of the tower. Each hangs mouth downwards within a strong wooden frame, having a large wheel to the side, around which the bell rope is fixed. The bell ropes pass down the tower via holes in floor and ceiling, through the clock room to the ringing room below.