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Report - Liverpool Cathedral Bells

B

batman

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#1
Not exactly UE, but quite interesting and not publically accessible. I went here today to have a ring of the bells and the scale of the place blew me away completely. The architect was Sir Gilbert Scott - there was even a red phone box dedicated to him inside the cathedral.

The Cathedral Church of Christ, Liverpool, contains the heaviest and highest ringing peal of bells in the world. They were cast by The Whitechapel Bellfoundry in the 1930's. The tenor weighs 82-0-11 ( just over 4 tons, or 4100kgs.) and is in the note of A flat. They are hung in a radial reinforced concrete frame, the only one of its kind. The ring includes a sharp 2nd. In the centre of the ring is the bourdon bell, Great George. This was cast by John Taylor and Son's Ltd, weighs 295 cwt, and is the second heaviest bell in Great Britain. It is rung by a counter weighted clapper and is sounded on special occasions.

01-Tower.jpg


Getting up there was different to say the least - most towers have spiral staircase or a ladder - but this place has two lifts! The ringing chamber is above the large circular windows, and just below the louvred windows. Inside the ringing chamber was also quite different, apart from being huge - there are no wooden beams or stone, this place was made of brick, steel girders and concrete with a very industrial feel:

02_Belfry1.jpg


03_Belfry2.jpg


The bells/wheels are very large making the ropes have a large 'throw'. This is the reason for the raised ringing platform.

I didn't ring the tenor myself - it needs two people and looked a bit of a handful! The heaviest bell I got a go of was the 10th at 39 hundred weight (2 tonnes). We rang stop start for about an hour and a half, and afterwards went upstairs to have a look around the bell chamber. It was huge :eek: - I've never seen anything like it, the pictures make it difficult to gauge the scale, but you can see the louvred windows that are visible from the outside as well. The bells are in circular pattern in a concrete frame - I've never seen this before, usually they are in a wooden or steel frame.

In the centre, but not really visible is 'Great George' which is 14.75 tonnes - bigger than 'Big Ben':
04_bells1.jpg


The zig zagged thing in the background is a staircase to the roof, and it shows the scale of the place well:

05_bells_2.jpg


Myself standing next to the tenor:

06_tenor.jpg


And a night shot from outside the Cathedral:

07_outside.jpg
 

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