Bells of St Mary


St Mary’s Church, East Bergholt, has the heaviest peal of five bells currently being rung in England.

They are housed in a medieval bell cage, which was originally built as a temporary measure in 1531, in the expectation that the tower would be completed and the peal would be moved into their new home. However the tower was never finished, and local legend points the finger of blame squarely at Anne Boelyn.

Cardinal Wolsey was said to be the financier of the building project, but when he failed to annul Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon so the King could move on to his new flame, Anne, the Cardinal fell from favour and could no longer afford to fund the tower. Originally the cage was on the south side of the church, but in the 17th century it was moved to its current position as the family living in the Old Hall objected to the noise of the bells.

The bells themselves weigh around 4,400kg, the largest over a tonne. And as they’re in a cage rather than a tower, they are rung by hand rather than using a rope.

To find out when you can see the bells being rung, and get more information about the church visit their website

To see more about Constable Country itself use this link.



Photo: David (Flickr)