Change Ringing Bells

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Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme amended to cover more bells work, professional fees and bellropes etcetera - click here

Christchurch Cathedral, New Zealand bells ready to leave Taylor's - April 2014.

A new ring of ten bells for Guildford, Surrey leaves the Foundry April 2013


Peals of bells from our bellfoundry ring out from towers all over the English speaking world, with many of the world’s most experienced change ringers regarding them as the finest instruments of their kind ever to have been created – beautiful sounding bells hung in immensely strong bell frames on perfectly balanced fittings for ease of handling. The number of complete Taylor change ringing peals now exceeds 625, and this total is greater than the combined output of all other bellfounders.

Cast plaque recording the longest ever peal which was rung on our bell foundry bells - a unique record in the history of change ringing

Our Bells – Many thousands of new bells have been cast at our foundry for customers all over the world. Each bell is a bespoke product, with a unique mould that is broken up as the bell is extracted from it.

Whilst virtually all other bell founders around the world now cast their bells using self-setting sand moulds, we still make our bell moulds from the more labour intensive loam process, and bury these in the earth to allow our new bells to cool slowly, as bell founders have traditionally done for centuries past. Although this is costly for us, the world's bell experts assure us this is a vital factor in producing the sweet toned bells for which our Foundry is known.

Each bell is harmonically tuned to the Taylor five toned principle. This produces the beauty of tone that makes our bells so famous in the bell world, and is the reason why so many Cathedrals and major institutions have trusted us with commissions.

Where appropriate, and before casting, new bells can be designed to a variety of profiles to match existing ‘old style’ bells. These can then be tuned to give a seamless match when extending an existing ring of bells or when a bell has cracked within a ring.

Pouring bell metal from the furnace to the crucible prior to casting a bell.


 Our Bell Frames – We design, manufacture and install bell frames made from treated hardwoods, cast iron and galvanised steel, or galvanised fabricated steel to meet customers’ requirements. Our bell frame designs give straight rope drops from the roller boxes to ensure ease of bell handling for the ringers, and are very strong and rigid to ensure that a ringing peal of bells imposes the minimum forces on the tower in which it hangs. We are happy to work closely with any architects or structural engineers appointed by our customers.

We also offer the service of providing detailed drawings and specifications to allow bell frames to be constructed locally if customers prefer to employ their own engineers or if this proves to be a significant way of reducing costs.

A Taylor cast iron and steel "lowside" type bell frame during construction

Massively strong - a Taylor cast iron and steel  "H" type bell frame during construction

Our Bell Fittings – Our bell fittings are highly regarded. They have been copied by others but have never been bettered. Many peals of bells manufactured by us more than a century ago still ring out week by week on the same fittings supplied at that time. Details of our bell fittings are as follows:-

Headstocks – Hollow box section cast iron headstocks give excellent rigidity to weight ratios and have proved to be very durable. In special cases, if customers request it, we do supply headstocks made from galvanised steel or hardwood.

Bearings – Double row, self aligning bearings are fitted as standard. These are housed in our own cast iron bearing housings.

A new ring of ten bells ready for dispatch from Loughborough

Bell Wheels – These are completely crafted from hardwoods, using stainless steel screws when attaching the shrouding to prevent timber splitting. Profiled metal wheel strengthening irons are also supplied to ensure rigidity.

Our bell wheels are made from seasoned hardwoods in our wood shop

A set of reconditioned bell wheels after treatment with preservative in the Foundry dipping room.

When appropriate old wheels are restored - here Bill prepares new wheel irons for a repaired wheel.

Rope Roller Boxes – Hardwood rope rollers from traditionally seasoned timbers, running on sealed ball bearings fixed to stainless steel joint pins are supplied as standard.

Stays & Sliders  - These are manufactured from traditional hardwoods. Sliders are steam bent to ensure a long lifespan.

Clappers & Crown Staples – Clappers are made from spheroidal graphite cast iron, and supplied with ‘Oilite’ clapper bushes with lubricant points. Composite clappers with either hardwood or nylon shafts are also supplied where appropriate or on request. Crown staples are made from cast iron and steel, and are supplied with castellated nut and split pin.

A set of clappers after repair and reconditioning at Loughborough.

Testing a bell on the ringing-up stand before it leaves the foundry

Ceiling Bosses – Cast iron ceiling bosses are supplied as standard and are fitted to every floor the bell ropes pass through. These prevent rope wear and are almost silent as the ropes pass through them. Nylon bosses can be supplied for fitting on belfry floors where there is a lot of wetting.

Bell Ropes – We manufacture our own bell ropes with traditional red, white and blue salleys. Other colour combinations are available when requested. Our bell ropes are supplied with pre-stretched polypropylene top ends as this gives the rope a longer lifespan and eliminates the problems of shrinkage in wet weather.

A new bellrope salley being shaved during the manufacturing process.

Ellacombe Chiming Systems:-    We manufacture and install these systems which allow all the bells in a ringing peal to be chimed by one person when a team of ringers is unavailable. We also restore these systems to full working order when requested to do so.

A set of restored Ellacombe Chiming Hammers

John Taylor & Co
The Bellfoundry
Freehold Street
LE11 1AR
Tel: +44 (0)1509 212241
Fax: +44 (0)1509 263305