Saxon church ready to ring in new millennium ... for the second time
Tuesday 28 December 1999
St Peter's, a landmark in the riparian market town in Lincolnshire, has one of the few bell towers that still exists intact from the previous millennium. Built around AD970, the tower at St Peter's was made from limestone, unlike those of most Saxon churches, which were built of wood and have long since decayed or been replaced.
Yesterday the bells were rung for the first time since the 1970s, after renovations in the tower. St Pdeter's was declared redundant by the Church of England more than 20 years ago and later handed over to the care of English Heritage. The bells had fallen into disrepair. But in anticipation of the millennium, English Heritage organised repair of the tower and bells.
Renovators built a new floor in the belfry over the summer and in recent months the bell-ringing equipment was serviced and 80ft-long bell ropes installed. A team of bell ringers from the adjacent parish of St Mary's, well practised in the precise art of campanology, will ring the bells at midnight on New Year's Eve and again 12 hours later.
"We believe this is one of the few bell towers in the country that has survived to ring in a new millennium twice," said John Hinchcliffe, English Heritage's assistant regional director. "Its a tribute to the original builders of the church and to conservationists who rescued the tower in the 1980s, that it has survived to bridge the centuries on Millennium Eve."
The magnificent bell tower and baptistery remain from the first phase of the building. The stone was recycled from an earlier Roman structure.
Mr Hinchcliffe said the bells that would have been used at the start of the second millennium would have been simpler than the current peal. "The earliest of the eight brass bells dates to 1598, made by Henry Oldfield of Nottingham, with another four supplied in 1741 by a Lincoln foundry."
t A tightrope walker plans to see in the millennium by walking 260ft between the spires of two churches in Coventry, without a safety net. Ramon Kelvink Jnr, 27, from Bordeaux, will attempt the stunt on a steel rope suspended 150ft above the ground, between the spires of the old St Michael's Cathedral and the Holy Trinity church.
Wellcome Image Awards: The most striking images from the world of science, including breast cancer cells under chemical attack and a photographer’s own kidney stone
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Terrorism explanation 'cannot be ruled out', says CIA
Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Athlete repeatedly sick as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem
How climate change helped Genghis Khan: Scientists believe a sudden period of warmer weather allowed the Mongols to invade with such success
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Pakistan vs Paul Smith: Sandal-wearers bemused by famed British designer's attempts to sell traditional Peshawari chappal-style shoes for the distinctly untraditional sum of £300
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 4 Russell Crowe's Noah banned in three Arab countries before worldwide premiere
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client specialises in creati...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Private Cli...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residential...
£1000 per month: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ban...