Notes and Queries, Number 50, October 12, 1850 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 52 pages of information about Notes and Queries, Number 50, October 12, 1850.

It is also the custom at Blackburn, in Lancashire; and it was, if it is not now, at Bakewell in Derbyshire.


Bromyard, Herefordshire.—­The curfew is still rung at Bromyard, Herefordshire, at nine P.M., from the 5th of November, until Christmas Day; and the bell is afterwards tolled the number of the day of the month.  Why it is merely confined to within the above days, I could never ascertain.


Waltham-on-the-Wolds.—­The curfew is still rung at Waltham-on-the-Wolds, Leicestershire, at five A.M., eight P.M. in summer, and at six A.M., seven P.M. in winter; the bell also tolling the day of the month.


Oxfordshire.—­I see that NABOC’s inquiry about the curfew is answered at p. 175. by a reference to the Journal of the British Archaeological Association.  The list there is probably complete:  but lest it should omit any, I may as well mention, from my own knowledge, Woodstock, Oxon, where it rings from eight to half-past eight in the evening, from October to March; Bampton and Witney, Oxon, and Stow, in Gloucester; at some of which places it is also rung at four in the morning.


Chertsey, Surrey.—­In the town of Chertsey in Surrey, the curfew is regularly tolled for a certain time at eight every evening, but only through the winter months.  There is also a curious, if not an uncommon, custom kept up with regard to it.  After the conclusion of the curfew, and a pause of half a minute, the day of the month is tolled out:  one stroke for the 1st, two for the 2nd, and so on.


Penrith.—­The curfew bell continues to be rung at Penrith, in Cumberland, at eight o’clock in the evening, and is the signal for closing shops, &c.

Newcastle-upon-Tyne.—­The curfew is still rung by all the churches of Newcastle-upon-Tyne at eight in the evening; and its original use may be said to be preserved to a considerable extent, for the greater bulk of the shops make it a signal for closing.


Morpeth.—­The curfew bell is still rung at eight P.M. at Morpeth in Northumberland.


Exeter.—­The curfew is rung in Exeter Cathedral at eight P.M.

The present practice is to toll the bell thirty strokes, and after a short interval to toll eight more; the latter, I presume, denoting the hour.


Winchester.—­Curfew is still rung at Winchester.


Over, near Winsford, Cheshire.—­The custom of ringing the curfew is still kept up at Over, near Winsford, Cheshire; and the parish church, St. Chads, is nightly visited for that purpose at eight o’clock.  This bell is the signal amongst the farmers in the neighbourhood for “looking up” their cattle in the winter evenings; and was, before the establishment of a public clock in the tower of the Weaver Church at Winsford, considered the standard time by which to regulate their movements.

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Notes and Queries, Number 50, October 12, 1850 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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