Cliff's adventures in the Belfry
I was very privileged to be allowed access
to the church belfry by our Rector Andy
Higgs, in order to take some photographs.
He warned me that the steps up to the belfry
were very steep and dangerous – and he was
On the day I went to take the pictures, a
group of ladies were holding a meeting in
the church. They very kindly offered me a
cup of tea to sustain me on my mission, and
as I headed towards the tower I couldn’t
help noticing the looks of concern spreading
across their faces as they warned me to be
Standing at the bottom of the tower where
the bell ropes hang, I looked
up the ancient, steep, dark, narrow
staircase leading to the first level, and
began my ascent. At the top, I lifted a
heavy, hinged, loft hatch and clambered
through it to the first floor which houses
the workings of the church clock behind two doors.
To gain access to the next level up where
the bells are hung, I had to climb a ladder
up to another loft hatch. I was expecting
this one to be hinged like the previous
hatch, but it wasn’t - and it very nearly
fell on my head.
I climbed through and, standing there triumphant, I was
now in the belfry. At this point I was
covered in dust, cobwebs and bat droppings.
Obviously the Rector hadn’t been up there
with his feather duster for years.
Looking up, I was amazed
at the 800 year old
beams inside the spire.
I climbed up as high as
I could on the ancient
beams so that I could
overlooking the three
bells and another
photograph of the
beams going up high into
Unfortunately I couldn’t
get into a position
where I could include
all three bells in one
picture, so I had to be
content with a
photograph of just two
When up amongst the bells I was very pleased
that the ladies below didn’t decide to play
a little joke on me and ring the bells - or
there would have been more than just bat
droppings in the belfry!
Having achieved my mission,
I was feeling quite pleased
with myself … until I
realised that I had to go
back down again.
Looking down, I could see
that I had climbed up much
higher than I had realised,
and it was apparent how
extremely steep and narrow
the steps were. Each
individual step also seemed
to slightly tip downwards –
probably due to hundreds of
years of wear.
I eventually made it back to
ground level without
incident. It was quite
an experience and you can now see the fruits
of my labours.