About the Cathedral Bells

In the Cathedral's 11th century tower are bells which ring out across the city to mark special services and events. The 13 main bells are named after apostles – important early Christian leaders or missionaries. The largest bell is called Alban. It is a tenor and weighs a tonne. There are also eight smaller bells attached to an electronic control mechanism called a carillon. These are the bells you hear chiming the hour and they can be programmed to play a tune. During the 2012 Olympics the Chariots of Fire theme rang out for every medal Great Britain won!

To ring our 13 bells a team of highly skilled bell ringers has to climb over 200 steps to reach the Ringing Chamber. The Chamber houses the ropes used to pull the bells. The striped fluffy pieces on the ropes are called ‘Sallys’ and are the handholds for the ringers. Bell ringing – also called change ringing – is a unique form of music. Instead of following a tune the ringers must ring the bells from memory in sequences learned as patterns. Change ringing relies heaving on great team work – and it’s a great form of exercise!

Contact the Bellringers:

Ringing Master:

Stephen Penney

[email protected]

07752 498488


Liz Hodgskin

[email protected]

01727 852561