|Where:||Chertsey, Surrey at St Peters Church|
|When:||Every weekday from 29th September to 25th March|
In the past it was common practice for a curfew bell to be rung, to let people know it was time to cover their fires and get to bed. Chertsey is one of the select few places where this still happens! It is believed that the custom may have begun in 1235 when a serious fire damaged the Abbey at Chertsey, and the practice was already an old one when documented in Georgian times.
It takes around five minutes for 50 blows to ring on the bell, followed by one ring for each day the month so far. It happens only on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays so don’t go at the weekend! And remember it’s only rung from Michaelmas (September 29th) to Lady Day (March 25th).
The romantic legend featuring Blanche Heriot hanging on to the bell to silence it (her lover was due to be executed when it rang) during the Wars of the Roses was made up by local author Albert Smith so sadly has no basis in fact – but there’s a commemorative statue of her and the bell on the south side of Chertsey Bridge.
Click here for the church website: http://stpeterschertsey.org
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