20 March 1999 was the day that the new bell was dedicated to St Hilary Church and the existing bells were re-dedicated.
The ‘St Hilary 2000’ community association gave the bell and funded the restoration of the existing bells.
Click on read more below for all the details.
The ‘St Hilary 2000’ community association received support from the following organisations:
The Millennium Commission
- The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust
- The Alan Evans Memorial Trust
- The Manifold Trust
- Garfield Weston Foundation
- The Vale of Glamorgan Council
- Llandaff and Monmouth Diocesan Association of Church Bell Ringers
- Cowbridge Benefice Bell Ringers
The fine 14th Century tower of St Hilary church has housed bells at least since 1734 when Abraham Rudhall cast 4 bells, two of which are still extant. Interestingly, these bells were recorded as last being rung at the re-opening of the church in 1862, following a major re-ordering by George Gilbert Scott[i], ‘The Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian of 10 May 1862 reported that:
‘the church was re-opened for divine service last Friday week. The weather was exceedingly fine, and it was evident on approaching the pleasant village of St Hilary, that a lively interest filled the beasts of the inhabitants. The bells rung peals from early morning and at intervals throughout the day, and flags, which were kindly lent for the purpose by Captain Dornford, R.N, of Cardiff, decorated the tower’.
Forty years later, in 1906 Mrs TM (Florence) Franklen was to make some diary notes.
“14 March. The bells returned plus the new one – we saw them all over the grass and Taylor’s man is here."
"19 March. Mother’s 85th birthday. The bells have just been put up in the church tower, and a peal was rung this evening for the first time, in honour of Mother’s birthday and it sounded very well."
"Easter Sunday. Our dedication service. The Bishop, Mr Hughes, Mr Edmondes, the Archdeacon… Service at 3 – procession round the church, all eating in school. All very successful.”
20 March 1999 saw the completion of Taylor’s scheme begun in 1906, with the installation of a treble bell to mark the beginning of the Christian Millennium.
The gathering included:
- Parish Clergy
- Team Vicar
- Parish Wardens
The bells of Saint Hilary are rung by:
- John Barrie
- Alf Charles
- Bert Thomas
- Sian Chapman
- Mike Kemp
- Andrea Wallace
The above information has been taken from the Order of Service used on 20 March 1999 at the dedication of the new St Hilary bell by the Archbishop of Wales.
Previous bell ringers are remembered in the church where the following photographs are displayed.