A Cowbell

This item was found, many a year ago, in the grounds of Easterton Manor. It is a late 19th century cowbell.

A 19th century cowbell found in Easterton and now at Market Lavington museum

Cowbells were worn by a member of a herd of cows to give a cowman an audio warning of the whereabouts and mood of his charges. They needed to be simple and cheap to make, reasonably light but also durable. It goes without saying that they also needed to make a lovely sonorous note as the clapper hit the bell.

The book, Shepherds of Britain, published in 1911 suggests that Market Lavington may have been something of a centre for bell making.

The Ellacombe mentioned is the Reverend H T Ellacombe who wrote extensively about bells in the 19th century – mostly church bells.

At Market Lavington Museum we think our bell, which certainly has a sonorous tone, may have been made in the Cheverell area. Click here to listen to the sound of this bell

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