Hand Bells

Hand bells are a very useful teaching aid. They are often used to explain the art of change-ringing, in which the bells sound in a different order each time they are rung. In the 19th century it was quite common for a tower to obtain a set of hand bells that matched the notes of the bells at the top of the church tower. 

Moving on from demonstrating the basics, ringing changes on hand bells can be quite challenging. Usually each ringer takes two bells, one in each hand. Top experts even ring four bells, that's two in each hand. 

The bell ringers soon realised that their hand bells had great potential as a musical instrument in their own right and tune ringing groups sprang up. And so it is today, some church towers have their own handbell teams other groups are completely independent of church tower bell ringers. The larger groups, sometimes using in excess of 100 bells, are often described as hand bell choirs or hand bell orchestras. 

Photo courtesy of the 
Whitechapel Bell Foundry 

The Cleveland Handbell Ringers

The Cleveland Handbell Ringers were formed by the church bell ringers of St. Mark’s in 1969 specifically to raise funds towards the restoration of St. Mark's church bells. Once that project was completed they continued for a decade or more to raise funds for other local charities. 

The group have given over 250 presentations of their slide-show and bellringing demonstration and several hundred mini-concerts at Christmas. They have performed on BBC tv and radio and on ITV; they toured New England in the USA. The group is re-forming in 2020 and is available for talks, demonstrations, weddings and special occasions. 

The Cleveland Handbell Ringers

at Ormesby Hall at Christmas 


St. Mark's Church

Redcar Road

Marske-by-the-sea TS11 6AA

North Yorkshire, UK



   01642 471662


   01642 482896


Re-set: 1/02/17


© 2020 by

St. Mark's Bellringers

Created by Peter

 with Wix.com

Last update: 21.8.2019

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