Fringe Box



Holy Trinity Church Tower Repairs Essential If Bells Are To Keep Pealing

Published on: 29 Aug, 2015
Updated on: 1 Sep, 2015
Holy Trinity Church Tower. Repairs are under way to ensure that there is the correct amount of sway.

Holy Trinity Church Tower. Repairs are under way to ensure that there is the correct amount of sway.

The bells at Holy Trinity church, at the top of Guildford High Street, could fall silent if repairs are not successfully carried out.

It has been noticed, and not just by customers of local hostelries, that the tower has been swaying too much and this needs correction.

Church warden Dr Mary Alexander said: “The tower has become weaker over the years and it swaying too much.

“All towers with bells sway a little – if they didn’t they would crack – but it is becoming very difficult to ring the bells.  In 10 years it might be impossible.

“This would be a great shame as they produce a very good sound and are well-known throughout Surrey.”

There are eight bells in Holy Trinity’s church tower and the tenor – the heaviest bell – weighs 24 hundredweight.  They were installed soon after the church was rebuilt in 1763.

The rebuilding at that time was necessitated because the tower of the medieval church collapsed in 1740 during another renovation, probably necessary because of general decay or, as the church record later stated: “…by reason of a violent high wind in January 1734 both Church and Steeple were very much shattered.”

Dr Alexander continued: “Building scaffolding on Holy Trinity’s tower was a challenge. The bricks, made in Worplesdon in the 1750s, were not strong enough to support scaffolding, so it had to be cantilevered off the top of the tower and elsewhere. The brick work needs repairing and renewing.”

The current work on the church is partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, but more money is needed to finish the work and to carry out projects such as the bells, conserving the wall paintings and re-building the ceremonial steps.

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