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Testing bell for St Paul's Cathedral, 1882.

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


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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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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