St. Hilary Church tower contains a ring of six bells, consisting of Rudhall bells dating from 1742, which were recast into a ring of five by Taylors of Loughborough in 1906. As a community project to mark the beginning of the third Christian Millennium, Taylors added a treble, which was dedicated by the Archbishop of Wales on March 20, 1999. Click here for more details.
In the 1950s Ken Vaugham was the captain of the Bellringing and taught many people in the village to ring. He also maintained the bells. On a Saturday afternoon he would make sure the bells were all in good working order for the Sunday Service. On Sunday evenings he would often walk over the downs to Cowbridge to join the Bellringers at Holy Cross Church.
The bells were always rang on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and for weddings.
Some of the bellringers were Ken Vaughan (in the right hand photo above), Stan Frederick, David Jenkins, Denzil Griffths, John Frederick, Horace Lee, Bert Lassiter and Bob Baker.
In the early sixties there were not enough ringers so the bells were put on the chimes. which meant one person could ring the bells.
Note: all of the above information is taken from Caroline Arnold's story.
Fred Elton Jones ringing the bells in the 1980s
Bell ringing today
Ringing at three churches in the Cowbridge parish is arranged by a Parish band, which moves around three churches (St Hilary / Holy Cross, Cowbridge / St John the Baptist, Llanblethian) for practice nights, and for Sunday service ringing. A Parish Ringing Master, who works in co-operation with three Local Tower Captains, directs the ringing.
Visitors are always welcome to join in Sunday ringing and practice nights. Enquiries are also welcome from potential new members. Contact Alf Charles through the Parish Office.