St Mary Magdalene's church in Turnastone has a small wooden louvred bell turret at the west end, housing two bells. They are not equipped for full circle ringing, and space in the belfry is very cramped. The smaller, treble bell is from Thomas Rudhall of Gloucester, dated 1774. It is hung in a fixed position, and was last chimed in the late 20th century. We have been advised not to ring it due to a risk of damage from the way it is hung. The other, tenor bell has no inscription but is dated to c.1520 so is now 500 years old. It is shown on the national bell register as of historic interest and to be preserved. This historic bell is not hung but is resting on a beam in the belfry. It has not been rung in living memory. It may be cracked.
Access to the belfry will be more limited once the planned holiday accommodation is in place (see separate News item). The Parochial Church Council have therefore determined to investigate the possibility of bringing the historic bell back into use by repairing any damage and hanging it in a fixed position in the belfry. We would install an electronic chiming mechanism that can be operated from within the church. We are taking advice from bell experts, and we are looking into possible sources of grant funding. In addition we have launched a funding appeal to our local community. If you would like make a donation to see this medieval church and its historic bell preserved for ongoing and future use, please use the "Get in Touch" facility to make your donation or pledge. There is an online donation facility at http://www.wyedoreparishes.org.uk/Turnastone.htm