Website of the Laceby History Group

The Bells

Seldom seen but often heard are the church bells of St Margaret ' s Church , Laceby. There are six bells in the tower, and they range in age from five-hundred years old to a mere fifty years old .

In the tower today there are five ringing bells and a small sanctus bell. When Bishop Latimer wrote in 1552, "If all the bells in England were rung at one time, there would scarcely be a single spot where a bell would not be heard", three of Laceby's bells were included in his remarks , for at that time two of the present bells were already in the tower, and the third rang out from another tower.

In an inventory of church goods dated 1552 Laceby then had three bells, all of which had survived the Reformation period. The fourth ringing bell today is the oldest and made in the late 1400's. Its inscription reads , "lsta Campana fit in honora Sancti Augustino" (This bell was made in honour of Saint Augustine) and has a diameter of 38 1/2 ins and weighs 10 cwt .

The "sanctus" bell made later than the fourth , has been dated by Thomas North in his book : The Church Bells of Lincolnshire, as being 15th century . Today it is known as the "Pancake Bell" from the tradition of its being rung at 11 am on Shrove Tuesday to let the men in the fields know that their wives were about to prepare the pancakes . The same bell was also used in the early 19th century as a school bell to summon pupils to the National School opposite the church. The bell has a diameter of 17 1/2 ins.

The third ringing bell, again pre-Reformation, came to the church in 1667 as the following extract from the Churchwarden's accounts for that year shows : "Wm Kermond made his a/c for the bell which was sold at Hull £31 2s 0d. Laid out for another bell which was bought at Haurby £26 18s 0d." This bell has the inscription "Mary of Hawardby of us have Mercy" . The bell is 34 ins in diameter and weighs 8 cwt .

The tenor, dated 1712, has the following inscription: "Soli Deo Gloria Pax Hominibus" (Glory to God alone, peace to men) . This bell is 40 1/2 ins in diameter and weighs 12 cwt .

In 1895 the oak bell-frame collapsed, and the then rector (Canon W H Knight) raised the cost of replacing the bells on a steel frame by public subscription. At the same time he bought an additional bell , which he dedicated to his brother . The whole work was carried out by J Taylor and Co of Loughborough , at a total cost of £83 7s Od. This bell is now the second with a diameter of 31 ins and weighs 6 cwt .

The treble is the youngest and was hung in 1928 by J Taylor & Co at a cost of £90, and was paid for with a bequest by Mr Charles Rannard. It has a diameter of 28 ins and weighs 4 cwt.

A ringing apparatus was installed in 1895, and is still in use today, enabling the five ringing bells to be chimed by one person.

The Church Bells in 1895, prior to them being re- hung on a new steel framework.