The Guild Library is a service offered to all members of the Guild. It aims to support their information needs as current ringers and to provide material for research into the history of ringing, particularly ringing in Devon.

First peal 1875 - Guild Peal Book


To this end the Library maintains a collection of:

  • nearly 300 ringing books and pamphlets
  • files of journals and leaflets, including a complete file of The Ringing World
  • some original documents, such as minute books and the first Guild Peal Book
  • photographs
  • gramophone records, CDs and DVDs.


Many of these items can be borrowed or photocopies or scanned copies can be supplied to meet requests for specific pieces of information.

A Summary List of items held in the Library is available.

More details on the library services are available. A "Brief Guide to the Guild Library" can be downloaded and printed out.

A New Home for Library from September 2019

Most of the Library is now housed at St. Petrock's Church in Exeter (High Street, EX4 3LN). It will be open for members to make personal visits on the following dates, all Saturdays, 10 30am - 12 30: 18 January 20; 3 00 - 5 00pm: 15 February 20 & 21 March 20.

A few items, mostly the manuscript originals, will continue to be kept at the Librarian's home, as will the Travelling Library collections, the Learners', Trainers' and Conductors' Libraries. Members visiting the Library to consult or borrow particular titles are advised to notify the Librarian ahead of their visit so that he can check that they are available or can bring them to St Petrock's.

Library Open Day and Formal Opening - 7th Dec

To celebrate the Library in its new home we are holding an Open Day at St. Petrock's on Saturday 7th December, 12 30 - 2 30pm, prior to the Devon Ringers' Carol Service at the Cathedral. This is a  great chance for members to see what the Library has to offer including the beautifully illustrated manuscripts items we hold. Dr John Eisel, former Central Council Librarian and author of articles on Devon ringing, will be our guest of honour at the formal opening. Lunch is available for those booking in advance. Full details are on this poster.

On-line resources

A growing range of resources is now available to consult on-line. These include older ringing books, earlier ringing newspapers and journals and biographical records from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers. We have also started to make available scanned copies of some of the Guild Annual Reports.

Our On-line Publications gives links to all of these.

What's new in the Library

Regular purchases of new publications are made and details of these are published in Ringing Round Devon from time to time. 

It is normally the Library's policy to acquire only general ringing books and those relating to ringing in Devon and the neighbouring counties of the South West.

Donations of all materials relating to ringing and particularly ringing in Devon are welcome on the understanding that decisions on whether to retain or dispose of items donated rest with the Librarian. Many local and ephemeral items such as orders of service for rededicated bells or ringers' personal records are of particular interest to the Library as they might otherwise be lost to future researchers.

Friends of the Guild LIbrary

Those interested in giving financial and practical support to the Guild LIbrary are invited to become "Friends of the Guild LIbrary". Friends pay a small annual Friends subscription in addition to that to the Guild. The money raised helps to meet the running costs of the Library. Friends also receive additional library membership benefits and can join in opportunities to help with the running of the Library and with research through a Devon Ringing History Group.

A leaflet gives more information about the Friends scheme.


The Librarian may be contacted using the email address on the Guild Officers page or using the details contained in the latest Guild annual report.