For what the bell tolls…

Easter Hill is the former vicarage of Christ Church at Leomansley built in the 1840s, around the same time as the church.  The older front part of the house is divided into flats and the rear, added later, is now a separate house.
What has always puzzled me is the bell on the left side of the building, under the eaves.

I have always assumed the bell had a religious use e.g. to call people to church, but couldn’t understand why this would be necessary.  Christ Church has always had a bell and it is easily within earshot of its flock.  In 1851 there were only 27 households in Leomansley.  However, BrownhillsBob came up with the suggestion that it could be a firebell, used to alert the local brigade and distinct from the church bell.  Bob has informed me there is such a bell on the council house at Brownhills.  This secular use seems much more likely and definitely warrants investigation.

If anyone else has any suggestions as to what the bell could have been for, please let me know!




6 thoughts on “For what the bell tolls…

  1. Hi it was the practice in farming areas to havea bell to signal the start and end of the working day also meal breaks,The bell on the council house in Brownhills as the bell that wason the side wall of the Guildhall in Walsall were market bells to signal the start and closeof the market it is possible that Lichfield hadsuch a bell.


  2. This was a very rural area, being outside the City of Lichfield, so the farming idea is another suggestion worth following up. The market bell information is interesting, although I don't think this is the case for the same reasons. However, it would be interesting to see if Lichfield ever had such a bell near the market square of if they used one of the churches. Thank you so much for your comments!


  3. The bell on the council house in Brownhills was a fire bell.It can't have been a market bell, as a market only had a 40-year history and the bell predates that.These days, Walsall market is ushered in an out by a hand bell.Best wishesBob


  4. We live at the old vicarage. Our understanding is that the original Vicar had 12 children that all lived in the vicarage and were all home schooled. Could it be that as the community grew with workers and their families that those children also became schooled at the vicarage and the bell was in fact a school bell?


    • Sorry I missed your comment amidst all the New Year Festivities! From what I’ve found out, the Hinckleys built Christ Church, the Vicarage and a school at more or less the same time. However, that’s not to say that the vicar’s children (I think it was Rev Bangham) weren’t home schooled. Can I ask where you found this out, I’m always looking for new sources to answer old questions! Also if you have any more info about the vicarage, or even just a description if what it is like inside (are there any old features left?), it would be great to hear more! Thanks for getting in touch! By the way, did you see the Leomansley walk I did here?


  5. Pingback: Discovering Leomansley | Lichfield Lore

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