[Bell Historians] Ringing at the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Frank King Frank.King at rcdinUI071ll0JSGSEoRdkNYTZZWhyavWl3BBofUyisIOQVvW0VfNHNUVyxCYH6I29-RU-L_CuF8MXmvHcIJ57o.yahoo.invalid
Thu Sep 20 20:34:54 BST 2007

> I have received ... a letter from an author in Australia
> who ... is having drawings made of ringing at Pisa and
> wishes to know if they are swung from the ground by rope
> "as it seems a very long way." Can anyone help?

It is indeed a long way and, given the lean, would require
some very curious rope guides.

The bells are in little arches and although each bell has
its own headstock they don't swing.  When last I looked
there were electro-pneumatic hammers.

The hanging suggests that they once did swing through small
angles, possibly with simple levers and ropes operated from
the top of the tower.

>From dim memory I recall the bells being on two levels with
four on the lower level and three more on the upper level.
I could easily reach the four lower ones and one morning,
as the very first visitor up the tower, I tapped out
plain hunt minimus via my knuckles.  Even this took a
good deal of walking!

Frank H. King
The University Bellringer
Cambridge, U.K.


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