The ringing of church bells has long provided a commanding soundtrack to historic occasions and significant events. Birmingham’s bell ringing scene developed dramatically during the 18th century, a largely secular activity which just happened to take place within places of worship. This study will explore the social fabric of Birmingham’s bell ringing tradition, providing historians with a fresh perspective in which to view the broader history of the area.
As well as exploring the broad historiography of bell ringing, the study has potential to connect with aspects of the history of leisure, popular music making, class and the social, cultural and political and religious history of the locality. As the thesis develops further, there are also ways in which the study might explore connections between bell ringing and religious change.