It was a delicate operation for surgeon Derek Sibson.
A 17th century bell at Burton Latimer parish church had a crack on the crown, and had to be taken away for re-casting.
But the belfry trapdoor was too narrow for the bell weighing nearly six hundredweight and part of a beam had to be cut away.
Derek, who works at Kettering General Hospital and is a Barton Seagrave bellringer, supervised the three-hour operation. Three pulleys were used to lower the bell.
The crack was first noticed in 1969, but recently the bell, which was cast in 1620 by Hugh Watts of Leicester, began to lose tone. The bell was taken to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London, where it will be melted down and re-cast in its own mould;. The church hopes to have it back by August.
The ringers plan to travel to London near the end of the month to see the recasting process.
Caroline Pearson, 18-year-old captain of the parish church ringers, said that to re-cast the bell will cost about £850. So far £360 has been raised through donations and collections.
She added: “When we have all eight bells we use them all. But seven does not sound particularly good.”