Page last updated at 12:17 GMT, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 13:17 UK

Medieval bells restored at church

St Lawrence's Church
The bells are thought to be the oldest circle in the Christian world

A full circle of medieval bells at a Suffolk church are to be rehung after restoration was carried out on them in a foundry at Whitechapel in London.

Bells at St Lawrence's in Ipswich date from 1450 and are thought to be the oldest circle in the Christian world.

Dr John Blatchley, restoration project organiser, said: "They would have been heard by Cardinal Wolsey as a boy.

"They should be ready to ring once again next week and it's set to be an amazing sound," he said.

"They're very mellow indeed. The bells have never cracked or had to be retuned, recast or any other dreadful thing that can happen to church bells.

"So we are hearing a genuine medieval sound and it is something which Cardinal Wolsey as a schoolboy would have been acquainted with."

Mr Blatchley anticipates word about the restored bells at Ipswich will go round the world.

"We expect visits by keen ringers from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States which has fine cathedral bells at New York and Washington.

"These enthusiastic ringers will want to come here to ring and to hear the bells that Cardinal Wolsey heard."

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