Bells and Bell Ringers
There are fourteen bells hung for ringing in the south tower, including a tenor of 72 cwt. (over 3.5 tons), which makes them the second heaviest peal in the world, after Liverpool Cathedral.
Ringing usually takes place monthly on the first Monday (7-9pm), alternate second Mondays (7-9pm), the third Saturday (5.30-7.30pm), and the Sunday after the third Saturday (2.30-4pm). The bells are also rung for special services and often on other Sundays either by the local band or by visiting ringers. Additionally, the bells are rung in the early morning in celebration of the three Great Festivals: Christmas Day, Easter Day and Pentecost. The full timetable (external link) lists all the ringing occasions.
The bells are chimed for the daily services in the cathedral in accordance with the principles laid down in the Middle Ages. The 'Little Nine o'Clock' bell is rung every morning for the daily eucharist in the cathedral, as it was for the chapter's daily mass before the Reformation.
Five times each year the bells are rung to a full peal, which can take between four and five hours. Sometimes this is undertaken by visiting bell ringers who come from all over the country to ring on this prestigious set of bells.
The Cathedral Society of Ringers is comprised of experienced bell ringers from all around Devonwho come to ring these challenging but rewarding bells. Please contact the Ringing Master (Matthew Hilling) if you wish to join a ringing session. Non-ringers are welcome to visit the tower to see the bells being rung on a Saturday evening practice. Please contact the Secretary (Ian Campbell) to arrange this.
Further information about the bells, ringers and contacts is available on the Guild of Devonshire Ringers website (external link) where you can also listen to a few rounds on 12 bells (external link).
A large single bell, Great Peter, hangs in the North Tower.
Listen to the bells