Ashwell’s church bells set to chime with a quiet compromise

St Mary's Church, Ashwell

St Mary's Church, Ashwell - Credit: Archant

A compromise over the sound levels of a set of village church bells is set to be reached – by making them ring more quietly.

The bells at St Mary’s Church in Ashwell – which were deemed by North Herts District Council to be ‘prejudicial to health’ – are to be fixed with a device to make them ring more quietly, a proposition which chimes with the church.

St Mary’s churchwarden Sarah Talks told the Crow: “Everybody is really hopeful it will be a solution which will work out.”

The bells, which had rung out every 15 minutes, were silenced between 11pm and 7am by Ashwell Parish Council last December following repair work after some villagers complained the noise prevented them from sleeping.

But now campaign group Save Ashwell Chimes has raised the £3,000 needed for a hammer device to control the volume of overnight chimes by producing a softer sound when it strikes the bells. Group member Maria Brown said: “People who live in towns may not understand it but the chimes are part of village life.”

North Herts District Council’s Andy Goodman said: “We welcome any development towards managing noise in Ashwell.”