A BELL, which was manufactured 235 years ago, will be dedicated
to the memory of former Rector of Hillsborough and Campanologist
Canon John Barry at a special service in the village's Parish
Church next Sunday (December 16).
A memorial plaque will be
dedicated at the same time during a ceremony conducted by the
Archbishop of Armagh Rt. Rev. Alan Harper.
The bell, which weighs half a ton, was produced 22 years
before the death on the guillotine of King Louis XVI and Marie
It was one of nine shipped from England to Ireland in 1772 by
the First Marquis of Downshire who was having new churches built
in both Hillsborough and Hilltown, 22 miles away.
Eight of the bells were delivered to Hillsborough but the
ninth went to Hilltown where it fell into disrepair and disuse.
A spokesperson for the bellringers said they decided its
preservation would be "a fitting memorial to Canon Barry who was
a keen supporter of church bellringing.
"The bell was taken from Hilltown and shipped back to England
for refurbishment courtesy of All-Route Shipping (NI) Ltd," he
Once installed, the bell will be reunited with the others for
the first time since the 18th century and in the lifetime of the
Ninth Marquis of Downshire. It will be a fixed bell; being rung
on those occasions when it isn't suitable to ring
the 'full circle' bells," he added.
The spokesperson also said technical work and fundraising
were "well underway.
"We believe there are many people outside Hillsborough Parish
who would appreciate the opportunity to make a donation towards
the memorial fund and such donations would be very much
appreciated and regarded as tributes paid," he continued.
Donations should be sent to 'Hillsborough Parish Church',
Hon.Treasurer of Bellringers, c/o The Sexton's House, Main
Fuller information on the project can be viewed at
www.hillsboroughbells.co.uk and enquiries may be directed to
the bell tower at