Brighstone, St Mary the Virgin
Brighstone has had two extra trebles cast by Whitechapel on 3rd February 2017 to make a ring of eight. The bells will be unavailable for a few days at some time over the next few months when the new bells are being installed. After installation, we will be a "ring of five" for a few weeks while the concrete around the bell frame of the front three bells cures, before becoming a ring of eight.
The earliest record of any bells were in the inventories compiled by the commissioners of Henry VIII in 1536 when there were three bells plus a sanctus bell. References to the sanctus bell are in the Parish Records until 1590 and then cease, its ultimate fate is unknown. The Parish Records speak of casting a 'Great Bell' at Romsey in 1610, and a 'Midle Bell' at Newport in 1613.
In 1740 the bells were recast, rehung and augmented to five. The work was done by Joshua Kipling of Portsmouth, known as a good producer of moulds but a poor designer of bells. A brass gun which was housed in a 'gun house', at one time next to the north side of the tower, is believed to have been incorporated into the bell metal at this time. The original treble (the present second) became cracked in 1780 and was recast by Thomas Mears in 1800. The bells were again rehung by Mears and the second bell (present third) was recast in 1877; the inscription "SUCCESS TO THE GREAT ADMIRAL VERNON" and the impressions of the Vernon medal are thought to have been lost from the bell during this casting. In 1961 the present bells were recast and rehung and a treble was added, being the gift of Frank Cheverton in memory of his wife. In 2017 two trebles will be added; the new treble was funded by the Society for the Preservation of Isle of Wight Church Bells, the new 2nd by the local ringers and friends.