BELLS will once again ring out from a village church in the Golden Valley following an ambitious restoration project.

A church bell which has been in the same position for 650 years has been removed so it can be refurbished and repaired.

The oldest bell in St Faith’s in Dorstone is a rare survival from around 1350, and was in the church tower more than 60 years before the Golden Valley archers went to Agincourt.

Last Wednesday, the bell was removed from the church, along with three other bells which are from the mid seventeenth century and were cast by the famous bell founder from Hereford, John Finch.

These bells have been silent for more than 65 years because in 1950, the bell tower was lowered for safety reasons, and the four ancient bells were un-hung and put on a wooden frame, where they could only be chimed.

Thanks for to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund of £90,000 the bells will be repaired and then replaced on a new bell frame, with new fixtures and fittings and will be re-hung.

The Keltek Trust has donated two second-hand Warner bells from Yorkshire, which means the church will, for the first time ever, have a ring of six.

Other funders, including the Herefordshire Historic Churches Trust and the Hereford Diocesan Guild of Bell Ringers, have also contributed.

All six bells will come back to Dorstone later in 2018, where the new team of ringers will have been trained ready to ring them for the centenary of the signing of the Armistice at the end of the First World War on Sunday, November 11.

A research project to explore the lives and times of the Dorstone men who served in the war is already underway.

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