Catholic Trinity Church bells, Port of Spain, Trinidad

Carl S Zimmerman csz_stl at
Mon Oct 27 02:01:31 GMT 2008

Seeing interest from David and George, I've done some searching, and 
have found a probable candidate for the "Catholic Church" to which 
Mears sent 8 bells in 1830.  Here's a summary of bits and pieces 
consolidated from several sources.

After the English took the island of Trinidad away from the Spaniards 
in 1799, the first appointed governor took his job quite seriously, 
and commenced to convert the squalid and swampy town of Port-of-Spain 
into a respectable capitol city.  Being a fair-minded man, he not 
only pressed the English citizens to rebuild and relocate the old 
Trinity Church into the present Trinity Cathedral (with its 6 and 
then 8 bells), but also pressed the Catholic citizens to construct a 
good sized church, and the Catholic hierarchy to remove Trinidad from 
the authority of a bishop in Venezuela and establish a bishopric 
here.  (Two bishops later, the diocese thus formed would be elevated 
to an archdiocese.)

The Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was begun 
in 1816, completed in 1832, and consecrated in 1851.  It was begun 
with twin stone towers, but they were damaged in the earthquake of 
1823 (or another in 1863, and another in 1968), and were replaced 
with wooden ones.  A diocesan history states that "formerly there 
were 12 bells", but doesn't say when they were acquired or when and 
how they were lost, or how many might remain.  While "12" is perhaps 
an exaggeration, a small photo of the twin-towered building suggests 
that there was ample space for a 13 cwt octave.  Another source 
states that there are presently 12 bells, and that only the top part 
was rebuilt in wood; a modern photo seems to confirm that.  There was 
a renovation in 1984.

I've sent inquiries to a couple of eddresses; if I get any 
information back, I'll report to y'all.



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