St Michael & all angels, Fringford

3 bells, 10cwt in G#. (GF) Unringable; tuning: 1-3 of 4

By way of information the following data have been taken from the book “Church Bells of Oxfordshire” by Frederick Sharpe (published 1954).

Treble Bell R Chandler – 1702
Second Bell R Atton of Buckingham – 1617
Tenor Bell R Chandler – 1702

The bells would appear to fair for sound (no signs of cracking). Tonally, the sound of the treble or lightest bell is in no way of credit to its founder. The other two bells sound rather more pleasing to the ear.

The bells are hung to their cannons to elm headstocks with supporting iron work. The fittings are those normally associated with full circle ringing (wheel stays, sliders). The frame is of timber construction.

It should be made clear that the frame and fittings are falling into decay, and the bells should not be rung full circle, as to do so would be courting disaster. Swing chiming of the bells, however, from time to time would be less hazardous.

During the inspection of the tower, the condition of the stonework above the bells and bellframe was observed. There were many loose stones and in places the rendering had come loose and fallen down amongst the bells.

To put the installation into good order is going to cost a lot of money, and will require a fresh start. The lightest bell is tonally poor, and the whole ring absorbs most of the space in the tower. A new ring could be installed but the bells will need to be smaller than those currently in the tower.