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Society of Royal Cumberland Youths

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St Andrew, Holborn

A brief history of the bells

Although the medieval church of St Andrew, Holborn had escaped the Great Fire of London, it was rebuilt by Christopher Wren, between 1684 and 1692, because of its poor condition. Wren retained most of the ancient bell tower, recladding it with new stone. In 1587 Robert Mot had provided the church with a 28 cwt ring of 8; these bells were recast by Richard Phelps in 1731, and in 1920 the 5th and tenor were recast and the bells rehung by Mears and Stainbank.

St Andrew, Holborn
St Andrew, Holborn

During the night of 7 May 1941 the church was bombed and gutted, leaving only its exterior walls and tower standing. The bells had been left up and were heard to ring down as the church was burning. They remained in the tower, cracked, until 1961. The church was then restored to Wren's original design and a new ring of bells, tenor 18-1-21 in F, was provided by Mears and Stainbank.

The first peal on the bells was on 4 May 1732. 35 peals were rung on the old bells before the destruction of the Blitz, and over 70 have been rung since its restoration.

St. Andrew, Holborn is a Guild Church, with no Sunday services. At present its main service is at seven o'clock on a Wednesday evening, which makes it impossible at the moment for the Society to practise there, though from time to time the Society provides ringing for special occasions.