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John Taylor & Co

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John Taylor & Co, commonly known as Taylor's Bell Foundry, Taylor's of Loughborough, or simply Taylor's, is the world's largest working bell foundry It is in Loughborough, in the Charnwood borough of Leicestershire, England The business originated in the 14th century and became Taylor's after the Taylor family took over in 1784

In 2009 Taylors went bankrupt but was bought out of administration by a consortium called UK Bellfoundries Ltd which successfully re-financed and re-established the business Since then the company has re-established its presence both in the UK and in the North American Carillon and other export markets

The company manufactures bells for use in clock towers, rings of bells for change ringing, chimes, and carillons In 2005 John Taylor's had merged with Eayre & Smith Ltd bellhangers and from 2005 until 2009 became Taylors Eayre & Smith Ltd1

The Foundry has a museum of bells and bellfounding which is the only one of its kind in the UK The restoration of the foundry buildings began with the re-opening in 2012 of the foundry's own Campanile which contains the most-pealed bells in the World It is one of the few Victorian purpose-built manufacturing sites still being used for its original purpose and therefore of considerable heritage merit


  • 1 History
  • 2 Notable bells
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links


Inside the belfry of St Stephen's Church, Bristol, England In 1970 Taylor's cast five of the twelve bells and a new frame in which they re-hung all twelve

The present company is part of a line of bellfounders dating back to Johannes de Stafford in the 14th century who was also a mayor of Leicester2 The Taylor family became involved in 1784 and a foundry was established on the current site in 1839 The Taylors also had foundries in Oxford and St Neots between 1786 and 18543 Taylors were the first bellfounder to adopt "true-harmonic" tuning in the late 19th century4 The foundry is based in buildings on Freehold Street which are Grade II listed56

In 1963, Paul Taylor, last of the Taylor family in the business, appeared on the American TV panel show What's My Line, challenging the panel with his occupation as a bell maker7

On 18 September 2009 the company went into administration89 Mazars, who had previously been acting as advisors to the company during attempts to secure extra funding were appointed Administrators10 On 2 October 2009 it was reported that the administrators were "optimistic about its future"11 On 15 October 2009, in a statement released by UK Bellfounders Ltd, a consortium of ringers, members of the bell industry and other investors, it was stated that the foundry would reopen on 19 October, reverting to the previous name of John Taylor & Co1213 Paul Taylor's widow, Mrs Merle Taylor, is Hon President of the new company

Before September 2009 the foundry was employing 26 people, and since then the new company employs 21 including 4 apprentices

The National Twelve Bell Contest is competed for annually by the leading teams in England for "The Taylor Trophy"

Notable bellsedit

Inscription on the Bourdon bell of the Baird Carillon at the University of Michigan

In 1881 Taylor's cast at Loughborough, "Great Paul", which is the largest British cast bell in Britain, for St Paul's Cathedral London, weighing 17,002 kilograms 37,483 lb or more than 17 metric tons Rock band AC/DC used a 2000-pound cast bronze bell for the song, "Hells Bells", which was originally used on the "Back in Black" tour in 1980 Many churches across the world have used bells cast at Taylor's Bell Foundry, including:

  • Baird Carillon, a 55 bell carillon at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  • Carlisle Cathedral, 13 bells
  • Edith Adamson Memorial Carillon, 25 bell carillon, Newcastle Civic Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Gozo Cathedral, 11 Bells
  • Lady St Mary church, Wareham14
  • Liverpool Cathedral bourdon bell "Great George", at 14,900 kg or more than 14 long tons 13 cwt, it is the second largest bell in Britain15
  • Loughborough Carillon, War Memorial 47 bell carillon
  • Manchester Town Hall, 23 bell carillon
  • Monument Carillon, Canberra, 53 bell carillon
  • Mount Saint Bernard Abbey, England's first post-reformation RC monastery, 2 bells, cast in 1936
  • Singing Tower Carillon, at Lake Wales, Florida A 60 bell carillon
  • Yale Memorial Carillon, 54 bell carillon
  • Kibbey Carillon, 53 bell carillon 1963, Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC, USA
  • Berkeley Carillon, Sather Tower original 1917 12 bell chime by Taylor later expanded to carillon, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA
  • WWII Memorial Carillon, 53 bell carillon, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA
  • Stanton Memorial Carillon, 50 bell carillon originally a 10 bell chime in 1899, expanded in 1920, 1954, 1967, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA
  • Luray Singing Tower, 47 bell carillon 1937, Luray, Virginia, USA
  • Duke Chapel carillon, 50 bell carillon 1932, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA
  • St Elisabeth's Church, Reddish
  • St Ethelred's church Horley, Oxfordshire, 2 bells cast in 2013
  • St James's Church, Kingston Isle of Purbeck, United Kingdom
  • St Mary's Church, Southampton16
  • St Nicolas' Church, North Stoneham, Hampshire17
  • Siege Bell, Siege Bell War Memorial, Valletta, Malta Designed by Michael Sandle and erected in 1992
  • Wellesley College Carillon, 32 bell carillon, 1931, last enlarged in 1990, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA
  • Wells Cathedral, 2 bells cast in 1877
  • Sydney Australia, GPO Clock Tower Bells
  • Church of St Thomas the Apostle, Killinghall, bell for chiming clock
  • Downside Abbey, Great Bede, The bell for Downside Abbey and School


Tenor bell of St Mary's parish church, Almeley, Herefordshire Taylor's cast and hung the bell in 1960
  1. ^ Foundry Merger accessed 20 June 2007
  2. ^ Foundry History accessed 20 June 2007
  3. ^ "Bell Founders" Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers Retrieved 8 March 2011 
  4. ^ The Sound of Bells accessed 20 June 2007
  5. ^ Historic England "Taylor's Bell Foundry that Part on East Side of Cobden Street 1002996" National Heritage List for England Retrieved 17 April 2016 
  6. ^ Historic England "Taylor's Bell Foundry that Part on West Side of Cobden Street 1264685" National Heritage List for England Retrieved 17 April 2016 
  7. ^ Church Bell Maker Paul Taylor on What's My Line, clip on YouTube
  8. ^ "Bell foundry faces administration", BBC Leicestershire, 19 September 2009 Retrieved on 21 September 2009
  9. ^ "no 59194" The London Gazette 24 September 2009 p 16422 Retrieved 27 October 2009 
  10. ^ Largest bell foundry in administration—Mazars plans to sell business as going concern, Accountancy Magazine, 21 September 2009 Retrieved 21 September 2009
  11. ^ "Hopes high for bell foundry bid", BBC Leicestershire, 2 October 2009 Retrieved on 16 October 2009
  12. ^ John Taylor & Co Bellfounders Loughborough—We are open for business! archiveorg, Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers, 15 October 2009 Retrieved on 20 October 2009
  13. ^ "Historic foundry's future secure", BBC News, 17 October 2009 Retrieved on 20 October 2009
  14. ^ Graham Elmes A new Tenor for Wareham p712-714 The Ringing World No 5385 1172014
  15. ^ Liverpool Cathedral Bells accessed 20 June 2007
  16. ^ "The Bells Of St Mary's" Parish of Southampton Retrieved 31 October 2009 
  17. ^ "North Stoneham: St Nicolas" Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers 26 September 2006 Retrieved 21 November 2009 

External linksedit

  • Company website
  • Panorama of the foundry
  • History of the Taylor family
  • Sydney GPO General Post Office Bells

Coordinates: 52°46′2344″N 1°11′5610″W / 527731778°N 11989167°W / 527731778; -11989167

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