Bristol

Bath Abbey bells peal to mark St Alphege's martyrdom

A full peal of the Bath Abbey bells has taken place to mark the millennium of the martyrdom of St Alphege.

St Alphege, the first archbishop of Canterbury to be martyred, was killed by soldiers of the invading Danish army on 19 April 1012 at Greenwich.

He was appointed abbot of the monastery at Bath in 980 and there is a chapel dedicated to him in the abbey.

St Alphege was taken prisoner by the Danes who demanded a ransom but he refused to let people raise the cash.

He was killed when drunken soldiers, angered by his resistance, hit his head with an axe.

A full peal of the bells happens three times a year on dates chosen by the abbey. The most recent was in October 2011.

The next full peal is planned on 3 June for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

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