There have been bells at St Nicholas Church in Willoughby since 1552.
In 1713, Joseph Smith cast five bells for the church and the bells, a minor peel, were installed in the tower. In 1781, the rare tenor was cast by William Chapman of the Whitechapel foundry. It was unusual for a bell from this foundry to be hung without any others from the same foundry. All the bells are engraved.
In 1724, a Carrilon musical clock was purchased from Southam and hung in the tower. Over the years there has been repair work and restoration on both the bells and the Carrilon clock.
The bells rang on the 19 July 1919, which was designated as Peace Day to celebrate the end of WW1, before being condemned and falling silent until 1926.
Today the village has a dedicated group of bell ringers who practice in the church to keep this rich bell ringing heritage alive. We regularly host groups of visiting bell ringers who come to ring quarter peels. The Carillon clock can also be played to mark an anniversary or special occasion for a suggested donation to the church of £10.
If you'd like to arrange a visit, contact a St Nicholas churchwarden for details.