Testing bell for St Paul's Cathedral, 1882.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 24cm x 32cm

Testing bell for St Paul's Cathedral, 1882.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Plate taken from the 'Illustrated London News'. The bell, at 17,001kg, still the largest in the country, was known as Great Paul. It was cast by John Taylor & Co. in 1881. Because of its size it was imposible to tune, as it would not fit any tuning machine of the time. It was hung with a wooden headstock and four ropes, two each side. On 18 March 1882, Great Paul was rung for the first time (in Loughborough), before being installed in the south-west tower of St Paul's, where it was dedicated on 3 June. In November of the same year, a wooden wheel replaced the levers in use previously, and the bell and frame were moved higher in the tower to make room for the new clock.

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