These pages provide an introduction to Method ringing, there are numerous sites that delve deeper into the theory and practice but there is little that I could find to help the novice. An overview is provided in the Wikipedia article on Method ringing.
There is a huge number of named methods and variations of those depending on the number of bells, this page describes methods that I have rung and have developed an understanding of. As my understanding improves I will refine the descriptions but will endeavour to keep it understandable by those learning the methods.
The essence of a method is quite simple, it is a set of rules that govern how each bell changes its position in the sequence of bells from stroke to another. Methods start and end in rounds. Each bell sounds exactly once in each cycle (row or change). A bell can move only one position in the sequence at a time. A particular sequence of bells is not repeated within a method.
Plain hunting is the simplest method and can be done on any number of bells. In plain hunting, you ring in a series of different places. You move through all the possible places and ring in each place twice. Ringing Plain Hunt.
I have not yet found out why this method acquired its name but I have discovered that it dates from around 1650.
There are variants of Plain Bob for different numbers of Bells but they all share something, that I cannot yet characterise, in common. This is the first method that I learned after Plain Hunt and in particular it was Plain Bob Doubles. It has taken me a long time to get to where I can do a Touch of Plain Bob Doubles but September 2008 is the date when I think I have finally got it sussed. In one week I rang a Touch on all 5 bells and for good measure rang the Tenor (bell #6) as covering bell too.
September 2008 is when I started to learn Grandsire Doubles. Hopefully I will learn this more quickly than Plain Bob Doubles. I will start with a Plain Course and then progress to a Touch. A Touch of Grandsire Doubles means that, like Plain Bob Doubles, I have to learn the Bobs but there also Singles.
Cloister Doubles is short method that is used as an introduction to the work performed in Stedman Doubles. Ringing Cloister Doubles.