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Pealing in Celebration

by glynch — last modified 12 Feb, 2018 03:43 PM

Wilts village church receives £25k from Heritage Lottery Fund to restore bells

A village church in Wiltshire is celebrating after a lottery grant was secured to help keep its historic bells ringing out for generations to come.

The PCC of St Peter’s, Milton Lilbourne, has now received £25,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project to restore the bells and bell-frame of St Peter’s Church, in Milton Lilbourne, near Pewsey. The project will enable these historic bells to be brought up to modern standards, keeping them ringing tunefully and safely for the community for decades to come. 

It is anticipated that works should commence within the next few months, and will take approximately three months to complete – and so during that time Milton’s bells will fall silent, as they will be taken to Taylor’s Bell Foundry in Loughborough for repair and tuning. There will be once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for local people to see the bells once they have been removed from the tower, and to follow their journey as they are tuned and brought back to Milton Lilbourne – more details will be publicised nearer the time.  

The Milton Bells Restoration Project will enable those within the local community to learn about their quintessentially English heritage in the heart of Milton Lilbourne – whether by volunteering during the project, by seeing the bells when they are out of the bell tower, or by visiting the permanent display which will be created in St Peter's about the bells/bell tower project. This project will also enable the Milton Lilbourne band of bell ringers to recruit and to retain the next generation of ringers by passing on their skills and enthusiasm for this ancient craft – and so both the bells and the art of bell ringing will have been preserved for posterity.

In a rural community which no longer has a shop or a pub, bell ringing provides a means for people of all ages to engage in a sociable activity that involves gentle physical and mental exercise, teamwork and which is great fun!

If you’d like to find out more or would like to get involved, please email, and you will also find more information, including photos and a sound archive at

Commenting on the award, Christopher Evans-Tipping, Chair of Milton Lilbourne PCC, said, “We are thrilled to have received support thanks to National Lottery players.  This peal of bells has been lovingly cared for since 1789 and this project will result in them both sounding better than ever and being preserved for generations to come.”

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said, “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players vital restoration work and a new generation of ringers will ensure a bright future for Milton’s historic bells.”

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