HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Let the bells ring

Posted by HelenEdith on June 20, 2009

St Magnus the Martyr, Lower Thames Street, London

St Magnus the Martyr, Lower Thames Street, London

There have been at least two occasions recently when I have been walking to London Bridge Station to catch the train home and have heard church bells.

The first time, I thought that they were the bells of Southwark Cathedral, carrying across the Thames, but then I realised that the sound was coming from much nearer to The City and pinpointed them as being from St Magnus the Martyr on Lower Thames Street.

I hadn’t heard bells from there before, but put that down to just not having passed by at the right time to catch the bell ringers practising, but that was before I visited the church’s website St. Magnus the Martyr Church and the dedicated bell site Returning a Ring of Bells to St Magnus the Martyr, City of London.

The bells of St Magnus the Martyr have been silent since 1941, when a peal of 10 bells was removed to the Whitechapel Foundry for safekeeping during WWII. They never returned to the church and were eventually broken up. Now, more than 60 years later, the funds have been raised and a new peal of 12 bells was commissioned earlier this year.

London may be one of the greatest cities in the World, but hearing the bells of St Magnus the Martyr pealing from Lower Thames Street as I walk along King William Street on a balmy summer evening somehow negates the traffic and the press of humanity and transports me to a much simpler place, where a great city has taken on the charm of a village.


2 Responses to “Let the bells ring”

  1. Buff said

    Remind me of the old rhyme … “Oranges and lemons say the bells of St. Cements …

    We (Western Australians who reside in Perth) were gifted a peal of bells from St. Martin in the Fields in 1988.

    “The bells were once housed in one of the most prestigious churches of Trafalgar Square where it has heralded many a momentous event, the English victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588, the triumphant return of Captain James Cook after his discovery missions, being the most prominent ones. Swan Bells, Perth got this illustrious exhibit as a gift on Australia’s bicentenary in 1988.”



    • HelenEdith said

      I didn’t know that!

      I must see if I’ve got any pictures of St Martin in the Fields on my hard drive. I think I’ve pointed a camera in that direction sometime when I’ve been in Trafalgar Square…

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