Ring for Peace to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WW1

Contradicting DORA – Ring for Peace


If you wander around the streets of York, you will find 3 mediaeval bells and an invitation to Ring for Peace. The locations are:-


  1. Holy Trinity Goodramgate
  2. The gardens of the Merchant Adventurers Hall
  1. St Paul’s Bookshop, Fossgate


The Defence Of the Realm Act forbade the ringing of some church bells during war time – this project asks people to ring a bell for peace to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WW1.


With permission of The York Bell Fund, three remaining bells from the old church of Holy Trinity or Christchurch (The Butchers’ Church), King's Square have been located across the City for up to one year as we prepare a permanent home for the bells. We have details of the bells which indicate that they were founded by Chamberlain’s of London circa 1440. These bells would have been heard by Saint Margaret Clitherow and by the butchers in the Shambles.


Rev’d Jane Nattrass is chaplain to the York Gild of Butchers who agreed to support the project. The link with Holy Trinity, Micklegate is apt because the Gild now meets in Jacob’s Well, Holy Trinity, Micklegate’s hall. Butchers were reserved occupations during wartime so it is pleasing that the Gild can be part of a peace bell project.




  • To enable the people of York to reclaim their connection with part of their heritage by telling the story of the bells and history to those who live here.
  • To allow access to 15th century bells and bring them back into use.
  • To assist in providing a City wide project which will be a legacy in the City of York commemorating the 100th anniversary of WW1.
  • To bring back into use an empty bell tower for the benefit of the community and to engage with the heritage of York’s only remaining priory church.  It is hoped that the bells will find a permanent home in a church in York with three new bells. They will be known as York Peace Bells commemorating the 100th anniversary of WW1.

 Merchant Adventurers Garden, Piccadilly

The bells were founded by William Chamberlain c. 1440

each has a latin inscription:



Located St Paul’s Bookshop

(St Margaret, pray for us)



Located at Holy Trinity Goodramgate

(Blessed be the name of the Lord)



Located at Merchant Adventurers Hall Gardens

(Through eternal years, let John resound for the Lord)


Thank you to Lucy Stewart of Stewart Architects Ltd, David Potter and the York Bell Fund, The Feoffees of St Michael Spurriergate, All Saints Pavement, Churches Conservations Trust at Holy Trinity Goodramgate, St Paul’s bookshop and The Company of the Merchant Adventurers, The Gild of York Butchers, Guy Hannma-Clarke at Plowman Bros for the engineering, Kibby Schaefer at Matthias Garn for the oak signage.