Belgian bells

Chris Pickford c.j.pickford.t21 at
Sun Jun 26 14:54:52 BST 2011

Thanks to a Belgian contact, I have managed to find out about the four bells in the earthquake-damaged RC cathedral at Christchurch, New Zealand. Basically, the four bells were cast by A. Causard at Tellin, Belgium, in 1904. The great bell weighs 2100kg (41 cwt) and the total weight of the peal is 3660kgs (72 cwt). There is a fact-sheet about the bells on the Cathedral website at and a photograph of the four bells before their installation too - on The fact-sheet also says (I quote) "The Cathedral peal comprises the Great Bell, the Gloria Bell, the Altiora Bell and the De Profundis Bell. Re sharp, Sol sharp, La sharp and Do. The combination of the bells give the harmonies of Major 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th".
    Apparently the suppliers advised that the bells should be hung as a swinging peal. The cathedral architect, however, insisted that the bells were fixed and not swung.
    To follow up on Michael White's recent query in the RW, I have sent a letter to pass on this information

    Of more general interest to bell historians, though, is the additional information in the Causard catalogues that the firm also cast a bell of 950kg (18.5 cwt) for Greymouth, New Zealand, at about the same date (the catalogue only says "since 1895" and the publication date was around 1914)
    Causard also claimed to have supplied three bells for Manchester. the biggest 600kg (11.75 cwt) during the same period
    Another Belgian founder, O. Michael (successor to A. Beullens of Louvain) published a catalogue mentioning two bells his firm had supplied for London, one of 1300kg (25 cwt) for M. Moore, and another or 200kg (4 cwt) for > Stephen Lech 

    A few unusual bells to try and locate!

Chris Pickford
4 Walmsley Court, High Street, Kinver, DY7 6HG
Tel: 01384 878435 or (mobile) 07811 453525
E-mail: c.j.pickford at or (interchangeably) c.j.pickford.t21 at           
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