North Bucks Branch Archive Project

Main Branch site:

Branch site

The Branch web site contains up to date information about ringing in North Bucks. Much of the information formerly in this site can now be found there.

Latest on this site:

Web development - Oct 2020

Contribution to the Zoom discussions about the History of Little Horwood's bells has prompted the development of a set of map pages.

These show the activity of the bell founders both in our area and outside.

Research into Towers & Bells

This project to record as much as possible about bells and ringing in North Bucks has gathered information from most of the towes in the branch. As the project has progressed, more has been learned about what can be recorded and how it can be interpreted. These notes are being written to bring this together. They are not yet complete.

Getting Started

There are a number of basic tools that you will find essential

  • Retractable tape measure for bells
  • Long fabric tape measure for tower dimensions
  • Clipboard and paper and some pencils
  • Camera - likely to have more control over flash lighting than a mobile phone
  • Mobile Phone
  • Torch
  • Sound recording device capable of coping with high sound volumes
  • Face mask in case birds have been in residence

There are also some pointers and procedures that will help, especially regarding safety:

  • Only make inspections with the bells rung down
  • Take an assistant - a young and fit one is preferable
  • If time is short, don't rush to finish. Arrange another visit.
  • Don't trust floors - so don't jump down into bell pits
  • On your clipboard, have one sheet of A4 each for the belfry and bellframe and each bell.
  • Make sure your torch batteries are OK
  • Make sure your mobile phones are charged

What to record

Start off by drawing a plan of the tower and bellframe, noting the positions of each bell. If there is a possibility of the bellframe being removed, now would be the time to make some detailed measurements. This could take some time.

For each bell there are a few things to record.

  • Inscriptions
  • Positions of moulding lines
  • Descriptions of canons
  • Description of clapper fittings
  • Description of other fittings
  • Diameter
  • Circumference at shoulder
  • Length from shoulder to rim
  • Sound recording of the bell being rung
  • Photos
  • Rubbings of interesting inscriptions

Photos to follow soon.


A spreadsheet will allow for the straightforward recording of information. A relational database will add the ability to refer to useful lookup tables, such as bell founder information, inscriptions, partials such that information is not unnecessarily repeated.

A couple of extra processing steps that have been developed here are:

  • Calculating the dimensions of Trapezoids
  • Calculating a modelled weight estimate

Pages detailing these calculations will follow shortly.


Years ago, there were only a few ways of making your findings known. You wrote it all down and got it published. That might be as a book but many accounts started off life as articles for local historical societies or even newspapers.

Now the digital age is upon us and there are many new ways of sharing. The approach you take will depend upon what you want to achieve.

The aim of this project is to provide the branch members with as much information as possible in one place with some top level summary analysis thrown in. A dedicated web site, based on a relational database was developed, added to, re-designed and re-developed. Meanwhile, the research has continually added to the content.

This web site uses .NET technology with an MS Access database and is developed using MS Visual Studio. That may be a bit too techie for some so it would be worthwhile doing some research first to see what technical level suits you.

Summary information for all towers

Detailed information for individual bells