Worcester Cathedral

Worcester Cathedral’s magnificent bells

The bells of Worcester Cathedral are one of the finest rings of bells in the world.

The tower contains a ring of 12 bells, four semitone bells and a bourdon bell. Their total weight is over 16 tonnes. 15 of the ringing bells were cast in 1928 by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough. A new bell, cast by the Westley Group, was added in 2018. The bourdon bell was cast in 1869 and retuned in 1928. It is used by the clock to strike the hours.

The extra bells are used to give other combinations in a major key. Principally a ring of ten in C# and four rings of eight in B, C#, E and F#. We are the only church in the world to have a peal of ten bells in a harmonic minor key. The haunting sound of this combination of bells can be heard on Good Friday, Remembrance Sunday, for the Armistice, on New Year’s Eve and other suitable occasions.

The ring is the fifth heaviest in the world. The bells are hung in the 1869 oak frame which housed the previous ring. This sits on top of a pitch pine structure which directs the forces down onto the supporting corner pillars of the tower. It is referred to locally as the ‘wigwam’.

Ringing Times

The bells are rung before every Sunday morning Eucharist and on Christmas Day between 0930 and 1030. We practise on most Monday evenings between 1830 and 2115. The bells are rung for many other services and special church and civic occasions.

The Worcester Cathedral Guild of Bellringers is internationally recognised for its work. The first purpose-built Teaching Centre in the world was installed in the tower in 2008. Eight dumbbells, linked to tablets, run sophisticated bellringing software, providing a perfect teaching environment.

We welcome ringing and non-ringing visitors on Sundays and Mondays. Please make contact via the form below.

Video

Click through to watch Video clips of the Worcester Cathedral bells

Audio

Worcester Cathedral Clock (1m12s)

The Bells

Bell Weight in cwts, qtrs and lbs Weight in kgs Nominal in Htz Note Diameter in inches Date cast Founder
1 6-3-10 348 1468 F# 28.88 1928 John Taylor & Co
2 7-1-16 376 1308 E 30.38 1928 John Taylor & Co
3 7-2-20 391 1235 D# 31 1928 John Taylor & Co
4 7-3-25 406 1099 C# 32.5 1928 John Taylor & Co
5 8-2-19 441 980.5 B 34.88 1928 John Taylor & Co
6 10-0-6 512 922 A# 36.5 1928 John Taylor & Co
7 12-0-1 611 823.5 G# 39.5 1928 John Taylor & Co
8 14-3-26 763 733 F# 43.5 1928 John Taylor & Co
9 20-0-6 1021 652.5 E 47.88 1928 John Taylor & Co
10 25-2-10 1303 616 D# 50.88 1928 John Taylor & Co
11 34-3-4 1771 548.5 C# 56.88 1928 John Taylor & Co
12 48-0-2 2445 488.8 B 63.88 1928 John Taylor & Co
2# 7-3-3 396 1385.6 E# 30.25 2017 The Westley Group
5# 8-0-15 414 1036 B# 33.5 1928 John Taylor & Co
6b 10-2-24 545 871 A 38 1928 John Taylor & Co
9# 16-1-16 835 692 E# 44.88 1928 John Taylor & Co
Bourdon 82-3-24 4224 437 A 76.38 1868 John Taylor & Co
               
In cloister       A 34.25 c1480 Worcester foundry
In cloister       Eb 25.75 1641 (unidentified)
In cloister       C 30.75 c1380 William Burford
In cloister       Bb 34.38 c1380 William Burford
In cloister       G 42.75 c1380 William Burford
In cloister       F 43.63 c1475 John Danyell?
               
In Teaching Centre c.5-0-0 c 560 1092.5 C# 29.25 1615 Godwin Baker
In Teaching Centre c.8-3-0 c 445 915.5 A# 33.5 1693 John II Martin
In Teaching Centre 0-1-25 24   A 11.63 2003 Petit & Fritsen
In Teaching Centre 0-2-1 26   G# 12.25 2003 Petit & Fritsen
In Teaching Centre 0-2-12 31   F# 13.13 2003 Petit & Fritsen
In Teaching Centre 0-2-26 37   E 14.13 2003 Petit & Fritsen
In Teaching Centre 0-3-13 44   D 15.13 2003 Petit & Fritsen
In Teaching Centre 0-3-22 48   C# 16 2003 Petit & Fritsen
In Teaching Centre 1-0-16 58   B 17.13 2003 Petit & Fritsen
In Teaching Centre 1-1-10 68   A 18.25 2003 Petit & Fritsen

 

Bell Inscriptions

1. JOHANNES TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH FVDIT MDCCCLXIX
Waist: S : MATTHIAS
Opposite: THIS BELL IS GIVEN / TO THE GLORY OF GOD / IN LOVING MEMORY OF / MARTIN ABELL / A KING’S SCHOLAR / B.1840 – D.1928 / (Taylor’s rectangular mark) / RECAST 1928
2. JOHANNES TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH FVDIT MDCCCLXIX
Waist: S : JUDAS JACOBI
Opposite: (Taylor’s circular mark) / RECAST 1928
3. JOHANNES TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH FVDIT MDCCCLXIX
Waist: S : SIMON ZELOTES
Opposite: (Taylor’s circular mark) / RECAST 1928
4. JOHANNES TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH FVDIT MDCCCLXIX
Waist: S : JACOBVS ALPHÆI
Opposite: (Taylor’s circular mark) / RECAST 1928
4b. JOHANNES TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH FVDIT MDCCCLXIX
Waist: S : PAVLVS
Opposite: (Taylor’s circular mark) / RECAST 1928
5. JOHANNES TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH FVDIT MDCCCLXIX
Waist: S : MATTHÆVS
Opposite: (Taylor’s circular mark) / RECAST 1928
6. JOHANNES TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH FVDIT MDCCCLXIX
Waist: S : BARTHOLOMÆVS
Opposite: (Taylor’s circular mark) / RECAST 1928
6b. J : TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH A : D MDCCCLXXV
Waist: S : MARCVS
Opposite: (Taylor’s circular mark) / RECAST 1928
7. JOHANNES TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH FVDIT MDCCCLXIX
Waist: S : THOMAS
Opposite: (Taylor’s circular mark) / RECAST 1928
8. JOHANNES TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH FVDIT MDCCCLXIX
Waist: S : PHILIPPVS
Opposite: (Taylor’s circular mark) / RECAST 1928 / THE WORCESTERSHIRE AND DISTRICT / CHANGE RINGING ASSN. GAVE ME
8b. JOHANNES TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH FVDIT A : D MDCCCLXXV
Waist: S : LVCAS
Opposite: (Taylor’s circular mark) / RECAST 1928
9. JOHANNES TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH FVDIT MDCCCLXIX
Waist: S : ANDREAS
Opposite: (Taylor’s circular mark) / RECAST 1928 / THIS BELL WAS GIVEN BY / MRS. E. THOMAS / AND HER SON / E.P. THOMAS
10. JOHANNES TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH FVDIT ANNO DOMINI MDCCCLXIX
Waist: S : JOHANNES
Opposite: (Taylor’s circular mark) / RECAST 1928 / TO THE GLORY OF GOD / AND IN MEMORY OF / NORMAN OGILVY, PRIEST / SOMETIME RECTOR OF HANBURY IN THIS DIOCESE / BORN OCT. 6. 1839. DIED JUNE 7. 1903. / AND OF / EMILY, HIS WIFE / BORN NOV. 27. 1841. DIED MAY 12. 1926. / AND OF / ALICE, THEIR DAUGHTER / BORN MARCH 17. 1871. DIED MAY 13 1926
11. JOHANNES TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH FVDIT ANNO DOMINI MDCCCLXIX
Waist: S : JACOBVS
Opposite: (Taylor’s circular mark) / RECAST 1928 / IN MEMORY OF THE MEN OF WORCESTERSHIRE / WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE GREAT WAR, / ESPECIALLY J. ROBERT BLAKE & EDWARD S. BLAKE, / SONS OF THE RECTOR OF ST. HELEN’S, WORCESTER.
12. JOHANNES TAYLOR LOVGHBOROVGH FVDIT ANNO DOMINI MDCCCLXIX
Waist: S : PETRVS
Opposite: THIS PEAL OF BELLS / WAS RECAST BY / JOHN TAYLOR & CO. OF LOUGHBOROUGH / IN 1928 / * * * / W. MOORE EDE D.D. / DEAN OF WORCESTER. / JOSEPH SMITH, CLERK OF THE WORKS / OF THE CATHEDRAL.
Bourdon. SVRGE QVI DORMIS ET EXVRGE A MORTVIS ET ILLVMINABIT TE CHRISTVS / JOHANNES TAYLOR, LOVGHBOROUVGH, FVDIT ANNO DOMINI MDCCCLXVIII. / IN VSVM ECCLESIAE CATHEDRALIS CHRISTI ET BEATÆ MARIÆ VIRGINIS IN CIVITATE ET COMITATV VIGORNIENSI
Waist: (four coats of arms – 1) England, 2) the See of Worcester, 3) the Dean and Chapter of Worcester and 4) the City of Worcester)

 

Downloads

History of the Bells

Detailed history of the Worcester Cathedral bells by Chris Pickford

Contact the Worcester Cathedral Tower

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