The tower contains a ring of five
bells. Access to the loft is by a narrow stone spiral
staircase in side on the south side of the tower. The
No. 1 Bell (the Treble): Bears the inscription "Congregate
mini sanctus meus". It was made by Miles Graye in 1654
and recast by Taylor of Loughborough in 1901.
No. 2 Bell: Bears the inscription
"Let men praise the Lord". It was made in 1628 and recast
by Mears & Stainbank in 1934.
No. 3 Bell: Bears the inscription
Leonard Wye and Robert Baxter, Churchwardens. It was
made in 1755 by Jos Eayre, St Neots.
No. 4 Bell: Bears the inscription
"Sit nomen domini benedictum". It was made between 1440
and 1449 by Johanna Hille.
No. 5 Bell (the Tenor): Bears the
inscription "Miles Graye made me". It was made in 1654
by Miles Graye and recast in 1934 by Mears and Stainbank.
Historically No 4 bell is the most
interesting. It is not only over 550 years old but it
was made by a woman foundress, Johanna Hille. In 1440,
Johanna's husband, Mr Hille, the owner of a bell foundry
in London died and Johanna carried on his business for
about ten years before she remarried a Mr Sturgess in
1449. During her widowhood, she caste Little Staughton's
number 4 bell. In addition to the inscription, the bell
bears a "cross and ring" shield with a lozenge
over it. When the bells were restored in 1934, Johanna's
bell did not have to be re-cast.
Two painted wooden boards hanging in the loft bear witness
to the prowess of the ringers at the turn of the last
century. On 29th January 1904 the ringers rang "720
changes in 30 minutes being six 6 score of Grandsire
Doubles". A second board proclaims that on Friday 9th
November 1906 to mark the occasion of the 65th Birthday
of the King a peal of doubles, 5040 changes composed
of Plain Bob, Grandsire and Canterbury Pleasure was
rung. On that occasion the treble was rung by Reginald
Gray who was just fourteen years old! Although our modern
ringers have yet to match the achievements of their
predecessors, their ringing at the Millennium and the
Golden Jubilee are commemorated in the tower although
on a more modest scale!
Hanging on the wall is a short poem written in 1756.
This is a belfry that is
For all those that civil be
And if you please to chime or ring
It is a very pleasant thing
There is no musick played
Like unto bells when they're well rung
Then ring your bells well if you can
Silence is best for everyman
But if you ring in spur or
Sixpence you pay, be sure of that
And if a bell you overthrow
Pray pay a groat before you go.