With Liam away in London on family duties, I was left to my own devices to troll the streets of Norwich. As I passed the rear of St Peter Mancroft, a divine shaft of light pierced the clouds and a sudden crescendo of bells rang out. Blimey. It was almost enough to make this sinner drop to his pagan knees. I resisted Peter’s temptation, it’s not something I tend to do in broad daylight (not even when the better half is away in the Smoke).

St Peter Mancroft is the largest church in Norwich after the two cathedrals. A ring of fourteen Whitechapel bells clanging high in its lofty belfry makes quite a heavenly racket, I can tell you. As it turns out, it wasn’t the Almighty calling, just a practice peel for the National 12-Bell Striking Contest Final.

Bell Ringing Contest

Who was St Peter Mancroft? No one. The Mancroft bit is thought to be a mangling of the Old English gemaene croft, meaning a common field. Nobody knows for sure. Fancy.

8 thoughts on “The Bells, The Bells

  1. Where I live there’s a small Catholic mission church about six blocks away. It has one bell and on a quiet Sunday morning I hear it on the breeze. A far cry from what you just shared!


  2. I don’t know if it still happens, but Peter Mancroft used to hold a service for the cast of the pantomime from the Theatre Royal. Quite a sight to behold with the whole cast in full costume, including the dame and when Cinderella was showing a carriage pulled by a Shetland pony! It did make me think I had been smoking something other than my usual ciggies! It is a fabulous building though, if somewhat overshadowed by the Forum now.


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