The largest parish church in Hertfordshire has installed a new tenor bell after 250 years.

St Mary's Church - near High Street, Hitchin - installed the bell prior to the coronation of King Charles III.

A volunteer at the church, Victoria Pooley, was also invited to His Majesty's coronation at Westminster Abbey.


The church has "an impressive and historic" set of 12 bells, however, the tenor is described as the most important and has the deepest tone.

The Comet: The bell commemorates Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee reign.The bell commemorates Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee reign. (Image: St Mary's Church, Hitchin)

The location's previous tenor bell served St Mary's for 250 years.

After nearly a year's preparation, it has been replaced.


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A forklift tractor driver, an engineering firm from Luton and a historic bellhanging company from Oxfordshire were all involved in the installation.

The Comet: Victoria Pooley received an invite to the King's coronation.Victoria Pooley received an invite to the King's coronation. (Image: St Mary's Church, Hitchin)

A spokesperson for the church told The Comet: "The bell, which does actually weigh a ton, was carefully lowered out of a van and then - before entering the Church porch - was dedicated by St Mary’s Vicar Rev Chris Bunce, in a short ceremony.

"Sponsored by one of the bellringers, Trevor Groom and his wife Katherine, the tenor bears an inscription to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee reign.

The Comet: The bell does actually weigh a ton.The bell does actually weigh a ton. (Image: St Mary's Church, Hitchin)

"Manpower was then used to manoeuvre the tenor inside and under the Tower, where it would be safely winched into place, three stories up in the belfry.

"The bell is already striking the hours with a much improved tone, the old one had grown thinner over the years and could not be retuned further."