Whitechapel Bell Foundry – oldest UK manufacturer



The Foundry was established in 1570, and is the oldest manufacturing company in the UK, according to the Guinness Book of Records. It resides in a grade 2 listed building in East London, and has been casting bells for nearly 500 years, including Big Ben in 1858, Liberty Bell in 1752 and more recently the 9/11 bell in 2001.

The basic principles of casting bells hasn’t changed. Molten metal is poured into a bell shaped space between an inner & outer mould that are made from sand, clay, manure and goat hair!

The bells, made from 77% copper and 23% tin, are tuned by cutting metal from the inner surface on a lathe, and by measuring frequencies. A bell produces 40 discernible harmonic tones, which blend to give it’s tone.

Tours are available on Saturdays and can be booked from their website http://www.whitechapelbellfoundry.co.uk/

Hope you have a good month,

All the best,



“By the time a man realises that his father was right, he has a son who thinks he’s wrong.”
– Charles Wadworth

“The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
– Steve Jobs

“Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends with them?”
– Abraham Lincoln

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike



About Mike Osborn CEng

A Chartered Engineer and member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers living in the UK with a passion for engineering design, technology and innovation, peppered with a little humour. Presently running a small engineering design & CAD drawing solutions business, serving mainly London and home counties. www.osborndesign.co.uk
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