Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers
Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers

A Guide to Towers throughout the World with Bells used for Change Ringing.

First published in book form by Ronald H Dove in 1950, this is the online guide managed by the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, now extended to details of constituent bells (the prototype National Bell Register or pNBR).

The printed Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers is available to buy.

Details incorrect or incomplete?

Grateful thanks are given to those who contribute additions or revisions, which are vital to maintain the quality of this resource. This includes bellringers, researchers and the bellfounding and bellhanging industry.

Please submit authoritative revisions either through the individual tower pages, or via email to the Dove Team. Please check whether the matter is addressed through our FAQs and follow our Conventions and other Help Pages (Description and Editing).

Site News

5 Jan: Links to affiliated association/society websites

In the past, clicking on a towers affiliated association or guild would take you to the Central Council’s page listing these organisations where it is the CC that maintains the web links. The Council still maintains these details, but we are now able to connect directly with the organisations websites.

1 Jan: Dove’s Guide now contains new ways to look at bell data

Happy New Year from the Dove Team, and we are pleased announce new functionality on the Dove Web site following the transfer of bell data into the new database just before Christmas:

• You can now search for bells or groups of bells by region, weight, year and/or founder. Just click Search bells in the left hand column.

• You can search details of founders by the year they have been operating.

• You can map the rings which have one or more bells by a particular founder. Here are the towers containing one or more Joseph Hatch bells.

• You can chart the numbers of bells by year of casting. Here are the bells by John Taylor Bellfounders Ltd cast between 1989 and 2006.

• Rings of bells are now displayed separately from other sets of bells in a tower (rather than just other rings of bells). See York Minster.

• Where individual bells fall within a ring AND a chime, they are numbered separately in each. See Hobart Cathedral.

24 Dec: Roman Catholic Dioceses and Archdioceses

To mark the opening of the new ring of bells at the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Parramatta today (Christmas Eve), we are pleased to announce that Dove’s Guide now includes details of the Diocese or Archdiocese that each Roman Catholic tower comes under.

21 Dec: New charting options

As well as generating charts giving the number of rings by tenor weight, you can now generate charts giving the number of rings by tenor nominal or day of practice. The links can be found at the bottom of the search pages.

9 Dec: The move of Dove’s Guide to its new home is complete!

Readers will know that there is a project taking place to transfer the information on this website from a legacy system sitting in the house of the Dove Master, John Baldwin, to a new more robust database that can be accessed online and maintained under the direction of the Dove Stewards.

In August we were able to announce the transfer of the tower level data and a new design that can support the separation of different sets of bells in a tower into collections. We are now delighted to announce the completion of the second major part of this project concerning the transfer of information on the constituent bells. This aspect of Dove’s Guide has been termed the “prototype National Bell Register” or pNBR. Dove is now showing details of 7,149 rings of bells and 47,221 constituent bells, although the Dove Master and Stewards have been collecting additional information on chimes and other towers in the background for future publication, all of which has been transferred over to the new database. No longer will Dove be listing updates to towers and bells separately as they are now part of the same system.

There are two remaining transitions to take place into the new systems, namely details on bell frames and bell restoration projects. We have taken both these sets of data off the old system and the info will continue to be displayed on the website. We will not be publishing changes to bell frames until the development of this part of the new database is completed in early 2021. We will however publish updates to bell restoration projects using an interim system. We continue to be grateful for the many updates we receive from the bell hanging companies and other individuals on the progress of projects.

This milestone is therefore significant! The consequence of this release and the plans for the next two stages means that we are no longer reliant on the use of or need to update the Dove Master’s legacy equipment, although additional unpublished data continues to be extracted from it for future publication. After about 30 years, it means that John Baldwin is finally able to pass on the responsibility of physically updating information on bells, frames and projects (47,221 bells is a lot of bells, not to mention those that are recorded but not yet published!). There will be more to say about John’s contribution in future communications.

Once again, I would like to acknowledge the considerable amount of work that has gone into this phase of Dove development. Richard Smith has been responsible for the technical development and has been on hand to respond to testing and fixing bugs as they arise. Tim Jackson has spent hours meticulously comparing the output of the new system with the old system to ensure that everything has been transferred as it should, as well as offering wise counsel throughout. My own contribution has been one of management, user testing, and conceptualisation.

Dickon Love, Dove Lead

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Recent updates

Recent changes to details (only some of which will update their Dove entry):

19 Jan
· Whittlesford, S Mary & S Andrew, Cambridgeshire
 1-6: canons added

18 Jan
· Bledington, S Leonard, Gloucestershire
 Sanctus: Nominal added.

17 Jan
· Almondsbury, S Mary V, Gloucestershire
 6: cast year amended.
· Somerton, S Margaret aka All Saints, Suffolk
 Clarification of dedication

16 Jan
· Balsham, Holy Trinity, Cambridgeshire
 1-6; turning added
· Rodmell, S Peter, East Sussex
 1-6; nominals, key amended. Tuning now diatonic.
· Stretton, S Mary, Staffordshire
 Updated supplementary place name and Church Care number

15 Jan
· Ickleton, S Mary Magd, Cambridgeshire
 1-8: turning added
· Staplegrove, S John Ev, Somerset
1-6: weight amended; 2-6: weight approx amended; 1-6: tur…
· Thriplow, S George, Cambridgeshire
 2-6: canons added

14 Jan
· Balsham, Holy Trinity, Cambridgeshire
 2,5: canons added
· Bamburgh, S Aidan, Northumberland
 1,4,6: diameter amended; 7-8: diameter added
· Ickleton, S Mary Magd, Cambridgeshire
 1-8: canons added
· Linton, S Mary, Cambridgeshire
 1,3: nominal added (bell was swinging though)

13 Jan
· Haddenham, Holy Trinity, Cambridgeshire
 1-6: canons added

12 Jan
· Royston, S John Bapt, Hertfordshire
 New ring of 8 cast

10 Jan
· Cardigan, S Mary, Ceredigion, Dyfed, Wales
 Postcode updated
· Cranham, S James Gt, Gloucestershire
Restoration project complete: rebushing of clappers, new …
· Croydon, Minster Ch of S John Bapt, Greater London
 Restoration project completed
· Dodington, All Saints, Somerset
 1-4: weight amended, nominal, turning added

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Worldwide Density of Rings included in Dove