Early Medieval Handbells of Ireland And Britain

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Hand-bells are emblematic of early Christianity in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Produced between the fifth century and the twelfth, they survive in large numbers and were used originally to regulate monastic time and to punctuate the liturgy. Several are attributed to specific saints including Patrick and Columba (Colum Cille) in Ireland, Kentigern (Mungo) in Scotland and David in Wales. This two-part book brings together for the first time all the hand-bells that exist or are known to have existed in Ireland and Britain. The first part deals with the morphology, production and distribution of bells, with their archaeological and historical contexts and with their enduring significance in late medieval times. The second part is a catalogue of all existing and recorded bells, offering both physical descriptions and individual case histories.