Restoring St James' 1788 bell

Restoring a historic bell dated 1788 back to use.

We did it!

On 6th May 2018 we successfully raised £2,400 with 23 supporters in 56 days

When we were undertaking urgent roof repairs on our beautiful Grade A listed Scottish Episcopal Church of St James the Great, Stonehaven, we gained access to the bell tower.  At the top, we discovered an historic bell, dated 1788, on its mounting but in a very dangerous state.  The bell itself was in fine condition, but the mountings were rotten and almost rusted through.  The steeplejack managed to safely lower the bell to the floor, and we have been able to examine it.  

We would like to re-mount the bell, and the estimate of the total cost is estimated at £18,500.  The project aims to get this done in time for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice at 11 o'clock on Sunday 11th November 2018, so that we can join in the planned national event in which every available church bell will be rung (as they were 100 years ago).

The work that we are planning to do is:

  • Sending the bell to a bell foundry (probably in Loughborough) to have it cleaned and restored.  The transport will cost about £500 and the work about £2,000.
  • Designing and manufacturing a new headstock and wheel, together with new bearings, clapper and rope. These materials will cost about £6,000.
  • Preparing the tower (which means removing the existing wooden supports) and installing new supports, then raising all the parts and the bell and assembling them on to the new supports, using specialised labour at a cost of £10,000.

We can recover the VAT under a scheme run by the Department of Culture Media and Sport applying to Grade A historical buildings.  We are also applying to other sources for funds.

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