About St James Bells
St James' 6 Bells were Cast by Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester, a well-established bellfounder in 1727.
The bells were paid for by a local benefactor, Lady Ann Bland and the inscriptions on the bells reflect this as follows:
1.Lady Anne Bland and Sr John benefactors 1727
2.Robert Twyford Minister 1727
3.William Twyford Thomas Whitelegge 1727
4.Prosperity to our benefactors 1727
5.Abraham Rudhall cast us 1727
6.Let us ring church and king 1727
Note that Lady Ann Bland founded St Ann's Church in the centre of Manchester (founded 1712). She is buried in the graveyard at St James and there is a plaque to her memory next to the pulpit in St James Church.
The bells have been rung more or less continually since their installation in the tower. They were (following national guidelines) not rung in wartime and fell into disuse in the 1960's due to deterioration of the oak frame in which the bells were housed.
The bells were taken out of the tower in 1976 by Taylors of Loughborough who did some remedial work on the bells and re-hung them in a modern, cast-iron frame on new bearings. This makes these relatively light bells easy to ring and is a perfect venue for learning to ring.