John Taylor & Co. The largest bell foundry in the world


John Taylor & Co. The largest bell foundry in the world

Since 1859, Loughborough Bellfoundry, home to John Taylor & Co bellfounders, has cast more than 25,000 bells hung in the cathedrals, churches, universities and public buildings of over 100 countries.

20 million people in Britain, and hundreds of millions worldwide, hear a Taylor's bell every day.

The foundry is in Loughborough, in Leicestershire. The business originated in the 14th century, and the Taylor family took over in 1784.

In 1881 Taylor's cast "Great Paul" (the largest British cast bell in Britain) for St Paul's Cathedral in London, weighing 17,002 kilograms or more than 17 metric tons. Many other churches and buildings in Britain and around the world have bells from John Taylor & Co - including Wells Cathedral, Exeter Cathedral, Worcester Cathedral, Manchester Town Hall, Nottingham Council House, Southwark Cathedral, Burton Memorial Tower at the University of Michigan, St Andrew's Cathedral in Singapore, Trinity Church in Manhattan, and York Minster.

The foundry employs a team of 30 who have a range of highly specialist heritage skills, including bell casting and tuning. It produces all associated parts such as hanging frames, wheels and ropes.

This historic factory was threatened with closure in 2009, but was saved, and has recently received a Lottery Heritage Grant to restore the building and ensure its long term future. The funding will also be used to train more bell makers and help the foundry expand production.

There is also a museum of bell making at the factory and tours of the foundry are also available.

Further reading

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