Ossett Pictures - Trinity Church Bells

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Trinity Church

Until 1865, the tower of the new church was empty, when Benjamin Ingham Jr. gave £800 for the casting of a new, heavy ring of eight bells. These bells were cast at John Taylor & Co of Loughborough, Leicestershire in 1865, the tenor weighed 26 and a half long cwt (1,350 kg). The bells arrived in Ossett in June 1865, travelling by rail from Loughborough to Flushdyke and then by road to Ossett. The first peal on the bells and in Ossett was on 10 November 1866. By 1889, the heaviest two bells were unringable, so they were rehung on new bearings by James Shaw. The bells were hung in a large timber frame, made concurrent with the casting of the bells.

In 1934, the bells and fittings were transported back to Taylor's foundry in Loughborough, where in the intervening 70 years, great strides had been made in the casting and tuning of church bells. As such, the 1865 peal were now considered to be tonally poor, and were recast, with additional metal, to make a new peal of ten. The bells were hung in the original timber frame from 1865, with a new oak extension made to carry the additional bells. The bells were dedicated on 22 December 1934, by James Seaton, Bishop of Wakefield. The first peal on the bells was on 2 November 1935, comprising 5,165 changes of Grandsire Caters in 3h 33m.

This ring of ten was augmented to twelve in 1987 with two new treble bells cast by Taylor's, plus an additional thirteenth bell, a sharp second, to allow for a true ring of eight without using the heaviest bells. The four trebles of the ring of twelve were hung in a new cast iron frame, made by Taylor's in 1987 to extend the original oak frame.

The ring of twelve was augmented to a ring of fourteen in 2012 by casting a further two treble bells, again by Taylor's, to make only Britain's second diatonic ring of fourteen bells, after Winchester Cathedral, which were augmented to fourteen in 1992. To fit the extra bells in, the tenor was moved and rehung in a new cast iron frame, the two new treble bells were then inserted in the space formerly occupied by the tenor, also in a new cast iron frame. The money for the augmentation, £42,000, was given by an anonymous donor, whose identity remains unknown.

In 2016, the ring of fourteen was augmented again to become the only diatonic ring of fifteen in the world with the new bell cast by Taylor's. This bell was hung in the 2012 extension frame. The tower thus contains sixteen bells; a diatonic ring of fifteen and a fifth sharp, giving the band two lighter rings of eight and one lighter ring of ten in addition to the heaviest eight and ten bells.

There are only five other towers in the world with sixteen or more change ringing bells, which are Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland; St Martin in the Bullring, Birmingham; Winchester Cathedral; Worcester Cathedral and the Swan Tower in Perth, Australia. The tenor bell at Ossett weighs 27 long cwt 1 qr 25 lbs (3,077 lb or 1,396 kg), striking the note 'D'.