[Bell Historians] Re: One-bell towers

Ben Willetts yahoogroups at b...
Thu Dec 12 01:05:50 GMT 2002

>> What a shame then, that Liverpool Cathedral's bourdon bell is hung
>> dead. I suspect this has already been mentioned many times.

Carl Zimmerman:
> Have you confused the Cathedral with the Municipal Buildings?
> "Great George" in the Cathedral isn't hung dead (though it
> doesn't swing full circle, either).

Er, no. I haven't confused anything. Until recently I used to live in
Liverpool and I am still a member of the Cathedral Guild of Ringers.

Great George, the nearly-15-ton bourdon bell at Liverpool's Anglican
Cathedral, is hung dead in a massive girder frame in the center of the
radial concrete 13-bell-frame. It does not swing at all, and is sounded by
a counterbalanced clapper being smacked against the inside of it (I think -
but I am totally certain that it is hung dead!).

> Dove (1988) reports that the clock chime in the Municipal Buildings
> has the four quarter bells hung for ringing but the hour bell "for
> chiming only"; whether that means "dead" or "for swing-chiming"
> I do not know.

I do. The four quarters are indeed hung for ringing, and are rung on
several civic occasions a year. The hour bell is hung dead and is sounded
by a clapper swung by two ropes (one for each direction). Only one rope is
necessary to sound the bell, of course, but it is quite useful when ringing
the bells half-muffled to be able to half-muffle the hour bell too.

The Catholic cathedral in Liverpool also has bells - four of them, the
treble, 3rd, 6th and 10th of a ring of 10, hung in an open campanile on the
south side of the church. They are electronically swung-chimed and the
largest is 92cwt.


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