About Change Ringing
It was the invention of full-circle tower bell ringing in the early 17th century, that allowed the art of Change Ringing to take off. The bells are hung in a frame allowing them to be swung through 360 degrees which gives control over the time between successive strikes of the clapper. Below is a picture of a bell in the "Up" position, ready to ring:
This in turn allows the order in which the bells are rung to be altered at every stroke and the resulting "changes" (as in the phrase "ringing the changes") gives the unique sound of bells rung in this fashion. Initially bells are rung in "rounds" - in the order 1 2 3 4 5 6, where 1 is the lightest bell with the highest pitch and 6 the heaviest (lowest pitch), but the order can be changed to say 2 1 4 3 6 5, then perhaps 2 4 1 6 3 5 etc.
The momentum of the bells when they are swinging, which even in a small tower can weigh as much as a small car, means that only small adjustments can be comfortably made between each change, so it is relatively easy to change from 1 2 3 4 5 6 to 2 1 4 3 6 4 (each bell moves one place either the left or right) whereas it would be challenging to change from 1 2 3 4 5 6 to 6 5 4 3 2 1 as the outer bells (6 and 1) would have to jump 5 places. However this apparent limitation has become the foundation rule for the creation of bellringing "methods" which stipulate that a bell can only move one place at a time.