Trinity Church bells, Port of Spain, Trinidad.

George Dawson george at
Sat Oct 25 18:51:03 BST 2008

I can add some more to this.

In 1880 they added 5 bells to the chime:










This implies that of the old 6, bells 1, 2 & 4 were replaced (previously cracked?).


Clearly then it sounds as though this should be added to the ‘Lost Rings…’ list. It would be interesting to find out how all the bells are now hung (yes I know what dead means), but are the old surviving three on old deadstocks, & what exactly is the framework.




From: bellhistorians at [mailto:bellhistorians at] On Behalf Of David Cawley
Sent: 25 October 2008 16:59
To: bellhistorians at
Subject: Re: [Bell Historians] Trinity Church bells, Port of Spain, Trinidad.



Bells for Trinidad


Whitechapel Foundry printed catalogues:


1880 - No mention found.


1884 - West Indies.

          Trinidad Catholic Church 8 bells  13 cwt

          Trinidad New Church      6 bells   16 cwt

          Trinidad English Cathedral 5, to complete set of 8 bells 16cwt


1890 - To America (!)

          Trinidad Cathedral, Port of Spain, 8 bells tenor 16 cwt, total 72 cwt

          Trinidad, R. C. 8 bells, tenor 13 cwt, total 56 cwt


1895 - To Colonies and British Possessions

          1880 TRINIDAD CATHEDRAL  8 ... 16 cwt

          1830 Trinidad Catholic Church  8 ... 13 cwt

          1878 Trinidad Presbyterian Church ... 1 bell, 6 cwt


1912 - To Colonies and British Possessions

          1880 TRINIDAD CATHEDRAL  8 ... 16 cwt

          1830 Trinidad R. C.                 8 ... 13 cwt

          1902 Trinidad, Aruca Church    1 bell, 6 1/4 cwt

          1878 Trinidad, Presbyterian Church 1 bell, 6 cwt


1919 - As in the 1912 catalogue with addition of

          1914 Trinidad, St Mary's           1 bell, 7 1/4 cwt


That is the last of their 'everything in" catalogues - the next one was 1925, which contains nothing more than "Trinidad Cathedral" among the Cathedrals containing Bells from the Foundry. 


Nothing in my copies of Warner, Taylor or G&J catalogues / brochures.


I have a feeling that the "New Church" referred to in the 1884 catalogue is possibly Sir Ralph Woodward's church of 1823; if so the foundry had not realised this when they supplied five new bells (two new and three recast) to make the chime of eight in 1880. Most of these dates are at variance with the GCNA site; so it would be interesting to know ther source for their dates of 1819 [1] 1871 [1] 1880 [2] and unknown [4]. 


This only partially answers Malcolm's questions - if at all - but is I hope not entirely devoid of interest.




----- Original Message ----- 

From: David Bagley <mailto:david at>  

To: bellhistorians at 

Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2008 9:10 AM

Subject: Re: [Bell Historians] Trinity Church bells, Port of Spain, Trinidad.


There's some more information at :-


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <RingingMatters at>
To: <bellhistorians at>
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 11:26 PM
Subject: [Bell Historians] Trinity Church bells, Port of Spain, Trinidad.

While I was doing some family history research at The Society of
Genealogists, I came across the following intriguing story:

On 23rd May 1823, Sir Ralph Woodford, Governor of Trinidad attended the
consecration of Trinity Church, Port of Spain, Trinidad.

The following extract is taken from “The History of the West Indian Islands
of Trinidad & Tobago 1498 - 1900” by Gertrude Carmichael

“Woodford was very generous to the new church. He … gave … a peal of six
bells. The bells he was unable to hear, for though they were mounted with
wheels and ropes, there was no one in the colony who could ring… Later a 
Fuller and six others “who felt inclined to learn the art of ringing” and 
had gone to the expense of purchasing a set of sixteen handbells and who “
expected a ringing tutor from England”, came forward with proposals for 
bell-ring. In spite of this Woodford was destined never to hear his bells
ring, for the great earthquake of September 20th, 1825, damaged the church 
the tower had to be rebuilt, the bells not being rehung for some years.”

1. Do we know who cast these bells?
2. Who hung them?
3. How the project was completed without Governor Woodward, or his project
co-ordinator being told that trained ringers would be required to ring the
4. Who rehung the bells years after the earthquake?
5. What happened to these bells. Are they still there and/or in use?

Malcolm Bland


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