The Bells Of St. Mary's

A Taunton Community Project

History of the St. Mary's Bells

The bells of St Mary's have been heard in Taunton since at least 1633 and a carillon since 1711. Over the years they have played an important part in the town's celebrations of significant national and local events. These have included victory celebrations at the end of World War 2 and, more recently, the welcome-home parade for the Marines of 40 Commando after their tour in Afghanistan and the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne.

Some of the present bells survived demolition of the tower in 1858 when it became unsafe. The last major work done on them was in 1922, when they were hung in a new steel frame and two bells added, one in memory of four Taunton bell ringers killed during World War I. Of the present twelve ringing bells, the heaviest of which weighs 29½ cwt. / 1498kg, three were donated in 1840 by public subscription from the town and five were donated in 1885 by individual sponsors.