St Veep Church has received a grant of £55,000 (fifty five thousand pounds) from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), towards the complete refurbishment of the Maiden Bells of St Veep and essential building work to the tower, it was announced today. The bells were last taken down and serviced in 1936. Since then, there have been considerable improvements to the materials used to hang the bells and it is anticipated that this work should keep the bells ringing for many years to come.
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery Players, the project will give opportunities for our young ringers to improve their ringing technique and join the ringing team, but at present they are held back by having the bells out of action due to a 6” crack in the tenor bell. The retired headmaster of our local school has written a play for the children to act in the social event planned when the bells are rehung.
We are also arranging a parish visit to Lyme Regis to see our ‘work in progress’ on the bells. Two of our Parishioners are being trained to act as guides for visitors. Leaflets and Guidebooks will be printed and our website is being reconstructed and updated. This has all been made possible by National Lottery players.
The bells project will ensure the continuation of our local heritage and the preservation of our bells and church.
We anticipate work to start about 1 st June and finish during October. St Veep Church has a unique set of six Maiden Bells. This is a report from
1770 from the then vicar:-
“St Cyyricius Church Bells Dedicated to St Veep on the sixteenth day of June, in the year of OUR LORD, one thousand, seven hundred and seventy. In the south of Cornwall, not far from the coast, there is hung in that ancient old tower which stands fifty seven feet high, and its walls of six feet in width, a perfect peal of SIX VIRGIN BELLS, cast on the SIXTEENTH day of June, in the stillness of the night, one thousand, seven hundred and seventy, by Pennington, bell founder, in a meadow opposite the church gate, for the sum of seventeen pounds. The bells were all put into the furnace and cast in their moulds, and when they were cold, they were hung on a girder. Pennington tapped them with his hammer, and pronounced them perfect virgin peal. The tenor bell, weighing just over 10cwt, is inscribed “William Penwarne, vicar AD 1770” and “I call the Quick to Church and the Dead to Grave”.
The bell committee and the whole parish were so pleased to receive the grant from Heritage Lottery Fund, (HLF) as it means that our heritage can be handed down to our children and grandchildren.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow uson Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.