Great Bells of the British Isles

Here are listed all 37 existing and former great bells of the British Isles, in descending order by weight.  The list includes three bass bells of carillons, as well as five bells which are (or were) in or associated with chimes.  There are 38 entries because one bell not only was moved but also shrank in the process!

Not listed are at least two medieval bells (since replaced) for which insufficient documentation is available to support proper placement in the list.  They are mentioned in the remarks about the bells which replaced them.

Following the list are some References to related information about the data found here.

NOTE: A companion page lists these bells (and a few others) in order by year of casting, and shows which ones set a new record for "largest cast in England to date".


Key:

nr.   City, County, Country - EquivalentWeight lbs

Bells in italics no longer exist.


1.   London, England - 50508 lbs

2.   London, England - 37483 lbs

3.   Westminster, London, England - 35666 lbs

4.   Liverpool, Merseyside/Lancashire, England - 33098 lbs

5.   Westminster, London, England - 30339 lbs

6.   York, Yorkshire, England - 24270 lbs

7.   York, Yorkshire, England - ~24080(+/-56) lbs

8.   Nottingham, Notts., England - 23211 lbs

9.   Bristol, Avon/Bristol, England - 21439 lbs

10.   Wigton, Cumberland (Cumbria), England - ~19712(+/-56) lbs

11.   Manchester, Gtr.Man., England - 18231 lbs

12.   Buckfastleigh, Devon, England - 16706 lbs

13.   Beverley, Humberside, England - 15765 lbs

14.   Manchester, Gtr.Man., England - ~14448(+/-56) lbs

15.   Oxford, Oxfordshire, England - 13944 lbs

16.   Birmingham, West Midlands, England - 13619 lbs

17.   Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, England - 13272 lbs

(18).   Beverley, Humberside, England - 15765 lbs

19.   Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England - ~12096(+/-56) lbs

20.   Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Somerset (Bath), England - 11956 lbs

21.   London, England - 11474 lbs

22.   Manchester, Gtr.Man., England - ~11200(+/-56) lbs

23.   London, England - ~10752(+/-56) lbs

24.   Preston, Lancashire?, England - ~10752(+/-56) lbs

25.   Ampleforth, Yorkshire, England - 10368 lbs

26.   Liverpool, Merseyside/Lancashire, England - 10254 lbs

27.   Aberdeen, Grampian, Scotland - 10078 lbs

28.   Bradford, West Yorkshire, England - 9751 lbs

29.   London, England - ~9744(+/-56) lbs

30.   St.Helens, Merseyside (Lancashire), England - 9464 lbs

31.   Worcester, Worcestershire, England - 9292 lbs

32.   Loughborough, Leicestershire, England - 9284 lbs

33.   London, England - 9251 lbs

34.   Bolton, Gtr.Man., England - 9197 lbs

35.   Liverpool, Merseyside/Lancashire, England - 9195 lbs

36.   Preston, Lancashire, England - 9161 lbs

37.   Leeds, West Yorkshire, England - 9083 lbs

38.   Exeter, Devon, England - ~8960(+/-200) lbs


References:

Chris Pickford's list of Great Bells of Great Britain, in Excel Spreadsheet format (300KB), as hosted on the Website of The Keltek Trust Updated 03/01/06.  That list contains about 1700 bells, some of them outside the British Isles; all are either actually or reputedly at least one tonne (20 cwt) in weight.
Of the 38 heaviest bells on his list, 37 are described in more detail above.  (The other is an undatable medieval bell mentioned in remarks above.)

John Ketteringham's collection of recordings of notable bells

David Bryant, "Heavy bells hung for ringing", an article written for publication in The Ringing World.


Return to the indexes to great bells.

Return to Indexes to tower bell sites in the British Isles.


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This page was created 2005/07/15, and last revised 2013/09/24.

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