Rudhall distribution and transport - guess the counties competition!

Chris Pickford c.j.pickford.t21 at
Thu May 3 21:45:26 BST 2007

Don't know for sure how Rudhall bells reached Sussex - haven't investigated - but probably by sea. Charles Rudhall, the brother of John, lived in Brighton for a time - hence the flurry of Rudhall jobs in Sussex from 1777 to 1800. 

Generally, the Rudhalls used sea transport down the Bristol channel to serve Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, south Wales and - Jamaice and the USA. Otherwise they mainly used the network of navigable rivers, and later the canals. Fulham bells went overland to Oxford, and then down the Thames to London. The main river route was the river Severn, navigable as far as Shrewsbury and this opened up the north west of England to the Rudhalls.

In all there are 5169 bells on the list, including the 113 cast by Thomas Mears and C & G Mears at Gloucester from 1835-1847. People might like to guess the distribution ranking by historic county, the list being headed by Gloucestershire with 1004. In alphabetical order, the next eight counties on the list - with numbers of Rudhall bells (past and present) between 459 and 206 - are:

I'll donate a copy of either my Coventry book or my booklet on Bellframes to the first person to identify the top five counties after Gloucestershire in the correct descending order (i.e. 2-6) received by Friday 11 May - e-mail offline to c.j.pickford at  I'll post the figures after the "draw"

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