ABOUT LOUGHBOROUGH BELLFOUNDRY
ABOUT THE TRUST
Since 1859, the grade II* listed Loughborough Bellfoundry, home to historic bellmakers John Taylor & Co., has cast more than 25,000 bells that are hung in over 100 countries around the world.
Closer to home, Taylor bells hang in nearly every Cathedral in England and thousands of parish churches, from London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral to York Minster and from Truro’s Cathedral to Newcastle’s. Taylor bells are ever-present for millions of people, ringing out for celebrations, coronations, jubilees, the end of conflict or simply intimate life moments like weddings, christenings and funerals.
The Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust was established as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in 2016 with the objective of protecting the historic John Taylor bellfoundry buildings, archive and museum collections for future generations. Since its inception the Trust has delivered substantial urgent repairs to the foundry site and has recently secured a major grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Enterprise scheme for a site-wide refurbishment and the creation of a brand new visitor experience.
Supported by a passionate team of Trustees, Volunteers and Staff, our vision is for the Loughborough Bellfoundry to become the global centre for the art of bellmaking and learning. The sound of Taylor bells can be heard all over the planet, and by protecting this legacy, we can ensure that future generations on every continent will be brought together by A Ring of Taylor Bells.
SAVING THE LAST
MAJOR BELLFOUNDRY IN BRITAIN
The Story So Far
In 2017 the other major UK bellfoundry at Whitechapel closed, sending shockwaves around the world. This has left Loughborough as the last major bellfoundry in the UK and placed its position in stark focus. While the business is in good fettle, without investment in the historic site, it is suddenly feasible that both of England’s last bellfoundries could be lost within a few years of each other – wiping out hundreds of years of history and silencing thousands of bells forever.
Bellfounding alone cannot produce enough capital to restore and sustain the original bellfoundry site, so the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust has spent the last few years preparing detailed plans to restore the historic bellfoundry to its former glory and ensure its rich heritage is not lost. Following a successful bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund in late 2020, the Trust is working with the NLHF and John Taylor & Co. to deliver a grant of £3.8m towards a package of £5 million+ repairs.
To achieve our vision, we are:
- Repairing the iconic Victorian casting hall and workshop where bells are created and brought to life
- Preserving and expanding our vast archive, which relates to over 10,000 bells and bell towers around the globe
- Improving access to our site so that anyone can visit and experience this unique place
- Overhauling and improving the only bell museum in the country
- Repairing the magical tuning shop where the principles of the harmonic tuning of bells were developed in the 1890s and where the sound we all recognise and love was created
- Reinstating the Foundry’s Carillon
- Reengaging with young people and learners to preserve our unique craft skills.