THE EARLY BELLS AT LILBOURNE.
1) Celorvm Chrste platiat tibi REX 1626.(Hugh II Watts).
(O Christ the King of Heaven…..?)
2) Sancta Katarina Ora pro nobis.(pre 1500 ?).
(Holy Katharine pray for us)
3) Sit Nomen Domini Benedictum.(pre 1500 ?).
(Blessed be the Name of the Lord)
4) Bryanus Eldridge me fecit 1658.
(Bryan Eldridge made me)
(cast by Bryan II Eldridge, [Coventry, 1656 to 1658], Chertsey, working 1636 to 1661).
These 2 Latin inscriptions on bells 2 & 3 appear on many bells attributed to founders of the mediaeval period, interestingly, there are other locations where 2 bells bear similarly linked inscription characteristics as above.
In particular, the inscription on the 2nd. bell “Sancta …….. Ora pro nobis” was introduced c1350, proved quite popular, with the name of the saint inserted to suit the dedication. In fact our early “Sancta Katarina” bell was the third most popular overall saintly inscription.
According to our own records,the lower beams in the belfry are from the 15th. century & may well be linked to the theories of the origins of the 2 bells under consideration.
Analysing research information written by the historian, E.W.Timmins, regarding facts about our village settlement & its proximity to an important trading route, as well as associations to the Norman castle, it is extremely suggestive that, the Church with a 12th. century tower would have had bells incorporated at an earlier period than most other Churches with later built towers.
Further research is required.
Ref. The Church Bells of Northamptonshire by Thomas North.