Bells and Ringers

The Cathedral has a ring of eight bells, which are hung for full-circle change ringing in the English style.

The bells cannot be used for playing tunes. Instead they are rung to mathematical permutations called methods, ranging from fairly simple to highly complex. The methods have intriguing names, such as “Grandsire Triples”, “Plain Bob Minor” and “Superlative Surprise Major”.

Each bell is rung by one person, who turns it nearly 360° by means of a rope attached to a wooden wheel. A group of bell ringers is called a band. Methods are rung by memory and are co-ordinated by a conductor who rings one of the bells.

Learning to ring

It can take several months to learn the art of handling a bell. After initial instruction with a tutor, a trainee ringer will join the rest of the band at Tuesday evening practice. When a new ringer has attained the necessary level of competence, he or she will be invited to take part in Sunday service ringing and special event ringing such as weddings.

Learning to ring a bell is similar to learning any musical instrument; it requires commitment and perseverance. Change ringing is both challenging and rewarding – many ringers who learnt to ring in their teenage years continue to ring for many decades.

Trainee positions are available from time to time. If you are interested in learning to ring, you are encouraged to visit a practice to find out more. A warm welcome is assured. Please contact the tower captain, Dr Ian MacLeod, to arrange a visit:

The Cathedral Bells ringing Grandsire Triples, half-muffled

The Cathedral Bells ringing Plain Bob Triples

Ringing times

Practice most Tuesday evenings from 6pm – 8pm (or sometimes 7.30pm)

Sunday mornings from 9am until 9.55am

Sunday evenings from 4pm until 5pm (usually a quarter peal is attempted at this time)

Visiting ringers are always warmly welcomed!