The Tower at St Mary’s is the oldest part of the current church building with parts of it dating from the mid 15th Century. There have been several places of worship connected to this original structure the current Church having been built in 1877-79.
There were originally four bells within the Tower, there are no official details that we can find on the original bell founders, however as Taylors who recast the bells incorporated some of the original inscriptions, we can deduce that 3 of the 4 original medieval bells were recast by Cliburys and the fourth (that was known to be in the tower at the end of the 17th Century) was recast by Warner in 1852.
There is very little information on the frame that was installed, but we can safely assume that this would have been timber and there are indentations in the walls of the belfry that would support this.
Nearly 100 years ago, a decision was made to recast the 4 bells that were there.
It was reported at the Chester Diocesan Guild meeting in April 1925 that “The four bells at Tilston, near Malpas, have been unringable for many years, but they are now being recast by Messrs J. Taylor and Co of Loughborough.”
John Taylor and Co were given the task of removing the 4 existing bells, recasting them, removing and then replacing the (assumed) timber frame with an iron and steel one and augmenting the original 4 with an additional treble and second bell to make the rather nice sounding 6 (9-1-12 in Bb) that are currently installed.
The tower has some interesting features including a significant number of “witching marks” which were carved into the stone to ward off evil spirits that were thought to land on the highest point of buildings.
You will find more about the bells elsewhere on this website.