St Mary Magdalene bells in Croome Court ring again

image captionThe six bells in the tower were donated to the church

The bells of a church in the grounds of a stately home in Worcestershire are to be rung for the first time in 11 years.

St Mary Magdalene church is part of the Croome Court estate, near Pershore.

Jo Cross, from the Churches Conservation Trust said: "The six bells, originally cast in 1651 and 1652, form one of the oldest rings in the country."

Restoration work has been paid for by the Worcestershire and Districts Change Ringers Association.

Too big

In 2010 six second hand bells were donated to the church to replace the original ones.

The wheels that hold the bells were also due to be replaced, but the new wheels were too big to fit up the spiral staircase to the belfry.

Instead the old decaying wheels were mended in situ using parts of the newer, sounder wheels.

Famous designer

image captionThe original church was demolished when Croome Court was built

The bells will be rung to celebrate a raffle that has raised £85,000 towards the restoration of the stately home, which is now run by the National Trust.

The house, grounds and church were designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown.

The church has an interior designed by Robert Adam, and is now owned by the Churches Conservation Trust.

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