St Nicholas's Church Tower, Montgomery - 200 years Anniversary
After a short climb up a narrow, stone spiral staircase visitors were treated to a talk on bell ringing on the first level of the tower. They were invited to try bell ringing for themselves as well as a selection of hand bells.
St Nicholas church tower in Montgomery is 200 years old and to celebrate this event the friends of the church opened up the tower for visitors.
Climbing further we reached the 2nd Tower level where we listened to a talk on the Church Clock mechanisms. A large weight powers the clock itself while another powers the bell chimes.
A short climb up a wooden staircase from the clock mechanism room led us onto the 3rd level where the churches 6 bells are hung with bell ropes secured to large wooden wheels as part of each bells mechanism. The Bronze bells were cast in the first half of the 18th century circa 1740, by Rudhalls (the Rolls Royce of bell-casters). They were probably brought up the River Severn and the canal and then used in the first bell tower on this spot. After the tower was rebuilt in 1816, one of the bells was replaced and is dated 1820.
From the Bell chamber on the 3rd level a strong steel ladder leads up to the Tower roof itself. Climbing this and stepping up onto the roof through a small removable panel gives full access to the leaded roof of the tower. The surrounding wall is around waist high with castellated openings down to a foot or so high. These castellations are now roped off with wire rope to increase safety, without affecting the aesthetics of the tower itself.
The tower roof provides 360 degrees views of Montgomery, the castle above and surrounding valleys, hills and distant horizons. Due to failing light we were privileged to be included in the dozen or so visitors able to climb all the way to the tower roof on this 200th anniversary of its construction.