Category Archives: Winchester Cathedral

Basingstoke District Practice at Winchester Cathedral – Sunday 16th June – 2:00pm to 3:30pm

The next Basingstoke District Practice will be slightly different from normal as we will be ringing at Winchester Cathedral prior to Evensong. Please let Nici – the District Secretary know if you are coming as the Cathedral need a list of names of those attending.

If you are coming we will be meeting at the West door at 2pm as it isn’t certain which entrance will be in use at the time.

Hope to see plenty of you there.


Popeye to the rescue?! – Sunday 19th May – Winchester Cathedral

Thank you to the volunteers who have offered to help erect and dismantle the Chamborough Ring at Winchester Cathedral on 19th May.   We still need another two or three  ‘able bodied and fairly strong adults’ to complete the team.

Should be a good ‘work out’ and fun… further details, including times, available on request!

Tel: 01983 530920

Tommy in Winchester – 11th November 2018

Sunday 11 November 2018

Up early this morning, bit of a shock to the system, arrived at the Cathedral at 8:30am. A long climb to the Ringing Chamber (130 steps).


The bells are half -muffled; rounds on 14 to start. Stopped for a ringer’s service by the Ringers Memorial, a wreath was laid by the Guild Master and all the known names of the fallen ringers were read out with their Towers. A short but poignant service.

Further ringing including Grandsire Caters, Plain Hunt Cinques and Call Changes on 12 before the Service started in the Cathedral.

Tommy in Winchester 3

The muffles were being removed as I left, there will be some open ringing starting at 12:30pm this afternoon

Winchester District Practice at the Cathedral – Wed 29th August 7.15-9.05pm

Dear All,

Just a reminder, that – as every year – we have the District Practice at the Cathedral, this coming Wednesday, starting at 7.15 p.m. and finishing at 9.05. 7.15 start so everyone has time to get up the stairs.

As last year, we meet – and gain admission to the Cathedral – by the door in the South Aisle, which is in the inner close, between two of the flying buttresses. If you are coming from the outer close, come to the West Front, and go through the passageway to the right, between the start of the south aisle and a high wall. The gentle ramp in front of you leads to the south door.

Please put the word round and encourage as many of your band members to come along.

Best wishes

District Secretary

Strike Back on Fourteen

Winchester & Portsmouth Diocesan Guild
Winchester, Hampshire
Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity, St Peter, St Paul and St Swithun
Sunday, 10 December 2017 in 0:57 (35–2–6 in C)
1320 Julie Mcdonnell Little Alliance Fourteen
Alex W Tatlow
James A Hodkin
Benjamin J Carey
Ian J Carey
John P Colliss
Edd Colliss (C)
Ewan Grant-Richardson
Roy LeMarechal
Stephen S Russ
10 Daniel Graham
11 Stephen P Noyes
12 Kristian D Scudamore
13 Stuart J Heath
14 David J Mattingley
Rung for the Strike Back Against Blood Cancer Cathedrals, Minsters and Abbeys challenge.
First Quarter in the method.
Julie McDonnell Little Alliance Fourteen
e -1B-56-14

This performance is linked to the event Bellringers Strike Back Against Blood Cancer (SBABC).

Report from Winchester District Practice at Winchester Cathedral

My thanks to the organisers of the Winchester District practice at Winchester Cathedral this last Wednesday 30th August.
There were a few of us who had never been up to the ringing chamber before. The journey to it was up and up the turret steps at the west end of the nave and then out on to the roof for a few paces, pausing to take in an unusual elevated view of the City. Then in through a door and back into the roof space above the nave, along the wooden pathway that leads to the dim lights of the ringing chamber, grabbing the handrails where the planking undulated and flexed under our feet. Once into the light, the ringing chamber is enormous! Someone must have compared it to something accurately. All I can think of is that it’s the size a squash court. Or a badminton court. Not swimming pool size though. Anyway. Big.
The new and most obviously anxious were gathered up by Edmund and rounds were rung, people swapped over and soon all us interlopers could say that they had rung at Winchester Cathedral. High five and selfie time!

More experienced ringers including some from the home band, Bishopstoke and also Hursley treated us and the City at large to some fine ringing, perhaps in part as an apology for the prior rough rounds that I had a hand in creating.

As for my own ringing, well it took many, many minutes to work out that time sort of stands still when ringing more than the six. I’m normally part of at Wonston Church. And once I got settled into stopping the bell on both strokes, it felt a bit better. But still, 6 or 7 strokes a minute leaves plenty of time for errors and not a lot of time to learn to correct them!

Going to new towers has been an essential part of my progress in learning the art of ringing. New churches, new turret steps, new people to introduce yourself (and then later apologise!) to. Wednesday’s District Practice at Winchester Cathedral couldn’t have been easier, calmer or more satisfying. A good way to start the twelfth month of my ringing career!

Gary Marsh


A&P practice at Winchester Cathedral – August 9th

As you know, due to ongoing repairs to the south transept we will not be able to use the door under the slype this year.

Instead we will be going in through the south door  at 7.30pm and using one of the staircases on the west front – inside the cathedral – which leads onto the parapet, from where we will be walking along the nave roof space to the ringing room.

DO NOT BE LATE. The south door will be locked at 7.45 and you will not be able to get in.


Reporting from the Youth Championships…

Nicola Penny Reports. Photos by Tim Martin

As many of you know, the Ringing World National Youth Contest was at the beginning of July in Birmingham. It was wonderful to see so many young ringers from all over the country taking part. There were 1 8 teams of 10. There were 4 of us from the Priory. The others making up the Winchester & Portsmouth Guild team came from as far as Winchester Cathedral, Basingstoke and Milford.  Our qualifier took place at St Peters in Harborne. The piece itself was good but we didn’t get through to the final. However, this was not necessarily a bad thing as it meant we could ring in more towers! Although navigating round the town to get to them was a challenge for the drivers.

There were towers open all over Birmingham including; St Giles (Sheldon), St Alphege (Solihull) and St Nicolas (Kings Norton), Then there was St Martin in the Bullring with a fantastic 16 bell tower. This being the favourite. It was really good to be able to ring in Birmingham, especially as the bells where so nice to ring and the views from the tower windows were impressive as well!

Nicola Penny




District Practices at Winchester Cathedral during August

These dates are copied from the cathedral ringing diary

Wednesday 2nd Andover District Practice 7.15 – 9.05
Wednesday 9th Alton and Petersfield District Practice 7.15 – 9.05 Click for details
Portsmouth District Practice 7.15 – 9.05
Wednesday 23rd Christchurch and Southampton District Practice 7.15 – 9.05 click for details
Wednesday 30th Winchester District Practice 7.15 – 9.05

Please watch for meetup instructions nearer the time – works on the Cathedral are making the usual rendezvous point problematic.

If you’re planning to park inside the Cathedral close then you will need a parking permit. A limited supply will be available once the door to the bell tower is open.

Here is link to a map of the cathedral and close for reference. Plan-of-the-Cathedral-Close

A&P annual practice at Winchester Cathedral – Aug 9th – 7.30 to 9.00pm

Wednesday 9th August – 7.30 to 9.00pm

District Practice at Winchester Cathedral

Meet at 7.15pm under the Slype

Always a great experience & an opportunity to ring

methods on higher numbers as well as rounds and Plain Hunt.

Whilst everyone is welcome to attend, it is requested that only ringers who are able to

handle a bell competently take a rope. There is also a silent bell for learners to practice on.

We’ll be meeting at 7.15pm under the Slype on the south side of the Cathedral, next to the Dean Garnier Garden.

If you’re planning to park inside the Cathedral close then you will need a parking permit. A limited supply will be available once the door to the bell tower is open.

Non ringers who would like to see parts of the Cathedral not usually open to visitors are also welcome to join us.
Here is link to a map of the cathedral and close for reference.


Look forward to seeing you there.


Winchester Cathedral Ringing Plans over Holy Week and Easter

The information below is taken from the Cathedral Website

Sunday 9th Service Ringing 9.00 – 9.55 (or 9.30 to 10.25 if raining – Palm Sunday – procession 10am) and 2.30 – 3.25

Wednesday 12th

No practice – Holy Week

Sunday 16th

Service Ringing 9.00 – 9.55 (Easter) and 2.30 – 3.25

Monday 17th Peal attempt 11am – 4pm

Winchester Cathedral Access Arrangements

Dear All,

Something you all need to be aware of – which I quote from the Cathedral Diary website:-

“Please note that building works in the south transept now affect how we access the tower. This is likely to be for several months so check here for updates.

On Wednesday evenings, a volunteer will be on duty at the South door (inner close) from 7.30 to 7.45 after which time the door will be locked. Access is then via the south-west turret staircase which is located at the back of the cathedral to the left of, and immediately below the great west window. If you are not familiar with this route, please ascend with one of the cathedral ringers.

On Sunday, and for other ringing when the cathedral is open (e.g. weddings), please enter the cathedral at the west end and then via the south-west turret stairs. The virgers and desk staff will be informed and should allow unhindered access. If you are unfamiliar with this, please contact the Tower Secretary (Bruce Purvis) in advance and he will arrange for you to be met.”

Best wishes, and we look forward to seeing you, as always ….

Secretary,  Winchester Cathedral Bellringers

PS. You get a wonderful view from the nave parapet before you walk along the nave roof-space.

Ringing at Dummer to commemorate Royston Bishop (died 16/11/16)

Ringing to commemorate Royston Bishop, died 16 November 1916, took place at All Saints’, Dummer on Wednesday 16 Nov 2016 at 7pm.
Ringers included Sheila Harden, Ian Robertson, Paul Lyndon, Tim De’Ath, Stafford Napier and Trish Willats.
Royston was a Dummer resident who also appears on the Bell Ringer’s Memorial in Winchester Cathedral.
He died after being wounded at the Battle of the Ancre (the last engagement in the Battle of the Somme).

Winchester Cathedral 12-bell Practice – Wednesday 28th September

There will be a 12 bell practice at Winchester on the last Wednesday of the month, 28th September, at 7.30pm. Usual methods – Stedman, Grandsire, Yorkshire, Little Bob, Bristol, Cambridge. If we have enough we will ring Yorkshire 14. 

This practice is open to anyone who would like to practise 12/14 bell ringing.

The last few practices have not been well attended so we need to decide whether this special practice is still needed. I have been running this for many years and would like someone else to run it if it is still wanted.

 John Colliss

Winchester Cathedral Peal Dates 2017 – Deadline for Applications is Sept 28th

Dear All,

Applications are invited for peal attempts at Winchester Cathedral on Monday 17th April (Easter Bank Holiday), Monday 29th May (Spring Bank Holiday) and Monday 28th August (Summer Bank Holiday) 2017.
The draw for these dates will be held on Wednesday 28th September, and the deadline for applications is 12 noon on that day. Further details from …

Bruce Purvis,
Tower Secretary
Tel. 01962 885234 or email

Lilliput Tour – Video of ringing at Towers in Winchester District – by Simon Edwards

Day Three of the Lilliputters Tour 2016 – Wednesday 3rd August

Towers visited on Day Three were Leckford, King’s Somborne, Houghton, Mottisfont, Farley Chamberlayne and Sparsholt. The theme of the day was wooden towers – and, as a bonus, they were all ground floor rings! However, this was made up for in the evening when we joined the Alton and Petersfield District Practice at Winchester Cathedral – a fair climb more than compensating for the lack of steps earlier in the day!

Leckford: A very pleasant 5 from a range of founders and dates. Ringing here is Stedman Doubles, with rare footage of Aaron ringing inside! 😉

King’s Somborne: An old-fashioned country ring of 6 in a large tower, overhauled and tuned in 2001 by Matthew Higby and Co. Featured ringing here is Bob Doubles (outside) and the almost-obligatory Grandsire Minor (inside!)

A picnic lunch at King’s Somborne was the ideal opportunity for general lunacy, with gymnastics, and a children’s play park providing much entertainment. We also had a competition to design a working “human bellframe”….. Guess which side won! 😉

Houghton: A shiny new six installed by Higby and Co a few months prior to our visit, replacing a long-unringable three. Two old Taylor bells are complimented with four new Higby trebles, and the two old tenors are retained as chiming bells. Ringing here was Bob Minor twice (outside, and double-handed inside!) and Bourne Surprise Minor.

Mottisfont: Five different dates and founders set up the “duffer” tower of the day. The treble rope falls dangerously close to the font and the tenor is rung off the tower steps just behind the door, which almost caused an accident a couple of times! Bob Doubles (outside) and some very respectable Erin (inside) – and no, Thomas and Connor didn’t have their fight in the end 😦

Farley Chamberlayne: A novel three, for the laughs! Tuned as the front three of a four, with ropes falling in a straight line and on a set of steps, these provided much amusement. Various 3-bell ringing extracts are included here.

Sparsholt: A nice little six to finish the day on, all from the Whitechapel foundry over various dates. Ringing here includes call changes, Grandisre Doubles, and a new method devised for the tour, named Kaleeb.

Winchester Cathedral: Once again, we were made very welcome by the Alton and Petersfield District for their practice on the ring of fourteen bells at Winchester. Ringing is mostly rounds and call changes on 12/14 from the ringing room, and in the belfry.

Lilliputters’ Young Ringers’ Tour 2016 – A Report by Simon Edwards

Looking Back at 2015

Monday 3rd August 2015 saw a group of mostly young ringers, augmented with a few “senior” ringers, set out for a week’s holiday, ringing at 16 towers (including 4 quarter peals) over the week. The focus was on a good standard of ringing with a light-hearted atmosphere, which ventured close to lunacy at times! Highlights included Wimborne Minster, Winchester Cathedral, and the delightful little eight at Brownsea Island, the spiritual home of Scouting. Scouting was an important factor in this tour; I had discovered our accommodation, the Lilliput Sea Scout house, through a recommendation on the “1st Facebook Scout Group,” and this proved an ideal location.

The 2015 tour was a resounding success, despite being a “trial run” and slightly low on numbers, and so the Lilliputters Guild was born, named after the aforementioned Lilliput sea scout house! A Somerset day out in April set the scene well for the 2016 tour, which had been put in the diary almost before the 2015 tour had finished! This day had a considerable mini-ring theme, a good forerunner for the Summer tour, as we were joined this year by “Brian”, a 10lb mini-ring of eight belonging to Aaron.

The 2016 Tour

Despite the organiser (ahem!) not arriving in time for the start of the tour, and only meeting them at Christchurch, the group was not deterred, ringing a quarter peal on Brian, before venturing into Bournemouth for the (early) Sacred Heart practice. Moving straight onto the practice at Christchurch Priory, the group were presented with the chance to ring on 12, culminating in some very fine call changes, as well as Stedman Caters and some Yorkshire Surprise Major on the back 8, before a good social session in the pub.

Tuesday dawned gloomy and murky, but that did not deter us as we headed to the Jurassic Coast for the day. Starting at Corfe Castle, we also visited Worth Matravers and Swanage, before breaking for lunch. The afternoon was made up of a treasure hunt around the town, competently organised by Aaron. Congratulations to Thomas and Susannah, winners of the inaugural Lilliputters competition!

An unusually quiet day (by our standards!) finished with an evening in the Scout hut, including some wacky card games, and ringing on handbells and Brian. Being completely nuts, some of us decided that there was no better idea than a midnight quarter peal on Brian, duly scored in style! Aaron had also composed a new, differential Minor method, named “Kaleeb” in honour of our newest and youngest member; plain courses of this was rung for the first on Brian, and made regular appearances during the week.

Wednesday’s theme was “wooden towers”, and, as an added bonus, they were all ground floor rings! Joined by some intrepid youths from Hampshire and Sussex for the day, and Andy from the evening onwards, we visited Leckford, King’s Somborne, the brand new six at Houghton, Mottisfont, the novel three at Farley Chamberlayne, and Sparsholt. For many, this was the first time they had visited a three-bell tower; Erin and Isla were also delighted to be able to ring at Farley without the aid of a box! Our picnic lunch at King’s Somborne was enhanced by various antics, including “human bellframes” and gymnastics; safe to say none of us will be competing for Team GB anytime soon! For the second tour in a row, we joined the Alton and Petersfield District for their practice at Winchester Cathedral, with its fourteen bells, and we are very grateful to them for making us so welcome for the last two years.

We started Thursday, our “higher numbers day,” at the Clock House Bells at Awbridge, a fantastic little ten, where Jack, Daniel and Jenny joined the tour, and Tim and Daniel joined us for a day of merriment. After backtracking to the pleasant octave at Eling, our post-lunch tower was the SUGCR Campanile at South Stoneham, a mini ring of 12 with a tenor of 15lb! The light ten at North Stoneham was accompanied by some ukulele playing and some Bob Minimus – Connor being to blame for both, though not at the same time! After another play in the park (overgrown children alert!), we finished on the twelve at Hursley, where Jack introduced us to Birmingham-style rounds, backrounds and Queens; great fun, and any handling faults showed up immediately!

Time then, for a nice pint or two – or so some of the group thought! – but it wasn’t to be, as we decided to move straight onto Bishopstoke for a pre-practice picnic in the churchyard! The evening finished on a high, with a fireworks display over Poole harbour being enjoyed from the Scout Hut, and another midnight quarter peal – making full use of Brian!

A relaxed Friday morning gave ample time to ring one final quarter peal on Brian before packing up and driving to Milford on Sea for lunch – rectifying the only lockout of last year’s tour; the chippy was open this time round! The classic Taylor eight here were much enjoyed by the group before ending our tour at Brockenhurst; first at St Nicholas, and then on the Gasworks Campanile, another mini ring!

Over 200 photos on Facebook recounting the madness tells its own story; the tour is fast becoming an established date in our diaries, and we are already looking forward to 2017! Here’s to the next one, with the variety of towers, interesting car discussions, loud (very loud!) singalongs, midnight quarters, and, of course, great, like-minded companionship. My thanks go to all the towers who let us ring on their bells, and in particular to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Bishopstoke for allowing us to join their practices.

If you would like to know more about Lilliputters, or are interested in coming on next year’s tour, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me:



Andover District’s Annual Practice at Winchester Cathedral – Weds August 10th

Access Arrangements:
Mike Till will be unlocking for us on Wednesday.  He has very kindly offered to have someone stay behind at the tower entrance to let in latecomers if they are unable to get to the practice by 7.15pm.  Many thanks Mike.
These notes were originally written by Lizzie Hough:
To access the tower, you need to go through the tunnel in the south transept. There a door at the other end, hopefully manned by Mike Till.
Anyone planning on parking in the Cathedral Close, please be aware you will be required to obtain (and return) a parking permit from behind the door to the staircase. The doors to the Close are locked at 10pm so please make sure your car is out of there by then! Other parking is available behind the Guildhall, for free, and there is a short walk to the Close, arriving the other side of the tunnel

Winchester District Practice at the Cathedral – Wednesday 31st August

Wednesday 31st August 2016

7.15 p.m.-9.05 p.m.


Winchester Cathedral

(14 bells, tenor 35½ cwt)

Huge Variety of Rings up to the Celebrated Fourteen, including tens in G (11 cwt) and in F (14¾ cwt)

All Welcome


Bruce Purvis

Winchester District Secretary

23rd July 2016

Cancelled – Winchester Cathedral 12 Bell Practice – Wednesday 27th July

Winchester Cathedral Photograph by Colin Cook
Winchester Cathedral Photograph by Colin Cook

There will NOT be a special 12 bell practice on Wednesday 27th July as the local band have had one practice cancelled already this month.

The next 12 bell  practice will be on Wednesday 28th September.

John Colliss