List of carillons of the British Isles

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The Loughborough Carillon in Loughborough, England, memorialises fallen soldiers of the First World War Loughborough Carillon - geograph.org.uk - 3930.jpg
The Loughborough Carillon in Loughborough, England, memorialises fallen soldiers of the First World War

Carillons, musical instruments in the percussion family with at least 23 cast bells and played with a keyboard, are found throughout the British Isles as a result of the First World War. During the German occupation of Belgium, many of the country's carillons were silenced or destroyed. This news circulated among the Allied Powers, who saw it as "the brutal annihilation of a unique democratic music instrument". [1] [2] The destruction was romanticized in poetry and music, particularly in England. Poets often exaggerating reality wrote that the Belgian carillons were in mourning and awaited to ring out on the day of the country's liberation. Edward Elgar composed a work for orchestra which includes motifs of bells and a spoken text anticipating the victory of the Belgian people. [3] He later even composed a work specifically for the carillon. [4] Following the war, countries in the Anglosphere built their own carillons to memorialise the lives lost and to promote world peace, [2] including two in England. [5]

Contents

The Carillon Society of Britain and Ireland (CSBI) counts carillons throughout the British Isles. [6] Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers , a publication that historically concerns itself with bell sets outfitted for full circle ringing, also counts carillons in the region. [7] According to the two sources, there are fifteen carillons: eight in England, one in the Republic of Ireland, one in Northern Ireland, and five in Scotland. There are no carillons in Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Jersey or Wales. [6]

The heaviest carillon is at the Kirk of St Nicholas in Aberdeen, Scotland, weighing 25,846 kilograms (56,981 lb); the lightest is at the Atkinsons Building in London, weighing 3,194 kilograms (7,041 lb). The carillon of St Colman's Cathedral in Cobh has the most bells 49. The region has several two- and three-octave carillons. The heaviest two-octave carillon in the world weighing 22,669 kg (49,976 lb) is located in Newcastle upon Tyne. [8] The carillons were primarily constructed in the interwar period by the English bellfounders Gillett & Johnston and John Taylor & Co. [6] Almost all of the carillons are transposing instruments, all of which transpose such that the lowest note on the keyboard is C. [6]

According to the World Carillon Federation  [ nl ], the carillons of the British Isles account for two percent of the world's total. [9]

England

List of carillons in England
LocationCityBells Bourdon weightTotal weight Range and
transposition
Bellfounder(s) Ref.
kglbkglb
Junior School and Carillon, Bournville - geograph.org.uk - 315194.jpg Bournville Junior School Bournville 483,2607,18617,65538,923 Common 48-bell carillon range.svg
Down 2 semitones
[10] [11]
Flamingo's aan bat - Charterhouse School, 1 augustus 2006.jpg Charterhouse School [lower-alpha 1] Godalming 379512,0976,79014,969 Fully chromatic three-octave carillon.svg
Up 4 semitones
John Taylor & Co 1921–23 [12] [13] [14]
Burlington Gardens 1 (5820512459).jpg Atkinsons Building London 236201,3603,1947,041 Common two-octave carillon range.svg
Up 8 semitones
Gillett & Johnston 1925–27 [15] [16]
Loughborough Carillon - geograph.org.uk - 3930.jpg Loughborough Carillon Loughborough 474,2329,33020,98646,266 Common four-octave carillon range (C).svg
Down 4 semitones
John Taylor & Co 1923–29 [17] [18] [19]
Centre civique Newcastle Tyne 7.jpg Newcastle Civic Centre Newcastle upon Tyne 253,6267,99322,66949,976 Fully chromatic two-octave carillon.svg
Down 3 semitones
John Taylor & Co 1963–67 [8] [20]
St Mary's Lowe House, St Helens - geograph.org.uk - 511032.jpg Church of St Mary, Lowe House St Helens, Merseyside 474,3029,48421,23446,813 Common four-octave carillon range (C).svg
Down 5 semitones
John Taylor & Co 1929 [21] [22]
Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rosary and St Therese - geograph.org.uk - 247066.jpg Our Lady of the Rosary and St Therese of Lisieux RC Church Saltley 238701,9184,56510,064 Common two-octave carillon range.svg
Up 6 semitones
Gillett & Johnston 1932 [23] [24]
YorkMinsterWest.jpg York Minster York 351,2152,6796,86715,139 Common two-octave carillon range (C).svg
Up 2 semitones
John Taylor & Co 1933–2008 [25] [26]

Northern Ireland

List of carillons in Northern Ireland
LocationCityBells Bourdon weightTotal weight Range and
transposition
Bellfounder(s) Ref.
kglbkglb
ArmaghRCCathedral.JPG St Patrick's Cathedral Armagh 392,1904,83010,85023,910 Common 39-bell carillon range.svg
None (concert pitch)
John Taylor & Co 1920 [27] [28]

Republic of Ireland

According to the CSBI, there is one carillon in the Republic of Ireland, which is located at St Colman's Cathedral in Cobh. [6] In 2019, playing this cathedral's carillon was recognized by the Irish government as key element of the country's living cultural heritage. [29]

List of carillons in the Republic of Ireland
LocationCityBells Bourdon weightTotal weight Range and
transposition
Bellfounder(s) Ref.
kglbkglb
St Colman's Cathedral in Cobh - panoramio.jpg St Colman's Cathedral Cobh 493,4397,58222,32749,223 Fully chromatic four-octave carillon.svg
Down 3 semitones
[30] [31]

Scotland

List of carillons in Scotland
LocationCityBells Bourdon weightTotal weight Range and
transposition
Bellfounder(s) Ref.
kglbkglb
St Nicholas Kirk.jpg Kirk of St Nicholas Aberdeen 484,57110,07825,84656,981 Common 48-bell carillon range.svg
Down 4 semitones
Gillett & Johnston 1952–54 [32] [33]
St Patrick's Church Dumbarton 238601,9004,60310,148 Common two-octave carillon range.svg
Up 6 semitones
Gillett & Johnston 1927–28 [34] [35]
St. Marnock's Parish Church, Kilmarnock - geograph.org.uk - 1610388.jpg St Marnock's Church Kilmarnock 306351,4014,2729,418 St Marnock's Parish Church, Kilmarnock, carillon range.svg
Up 7 semitones
Mears & Stainbank (Whitechapel) 1954 [36] [37]
St John's Kirk, Perth, Church of Scotland - geograph.org.uk - 566572.jpg St John's Kirk Perth 351,4303,1507,88317,379 Common three-octave carillon range (C).svg
Up 1 semitone
[38] [39]
Holy Trinity Church, St Andrews.jpg Holy Trinity Church St Andrews 271,5933,5127,58716,726 Holy Trinity, St Andrews, carillon range.svg
Up 1 semitone
John Taylor & Co 1926–98 [40] [41]

See also

Notes

  1. The carillon was moved from the Mostyn House School in 2010.

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References

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  4. Orr, Scott Allan (2022). "The Origins, Development, and Legacy of Elgar's Memorial Chimes (1923)". Beiaard- en klokkencultuur in de Lage Landen [Carillon and Bell Culture in the Low Countries] (1 ed.). Amsterdam University Press. 1: 81–101. doi:10.5117/BKL2022.1.004.ORR. S2CID   249082470.
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  8. 1 2 "Edith Adamson Carillon, Newcastle Civic Centre". Carillon Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  9. "Carillons". World Carillon Federation. Archived from the original on 11 January 2021. Retrieved 30 January 2021.
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  11. "Birmingham, West Midlands, Bournville Village Primary School, Bournville". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers . Archived from the original on 5 April 2022. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
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  20. "Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, Civic Centre". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers . Archived from the original on 5 April 2022. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  21. "Church of St. Mary, Lowe House". Carillon Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  22. "St Helens, Merseyside, S Mary, Lowe House (RC)". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers . Archived from the original on 31 May 2022. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  23. "Our Lady's Carillon". Carillon Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
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  27. "St Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral". Carillon Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
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  34. "St Patrick's Church". Carillon Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  35. "Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, S Patrick (RC)". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers . Archived from the original on 5 April 2022. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  36. "St Andrew's & St Marnock's Parish Church". Carillon Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  37. "Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland, S Marnock". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers . Archived from the original on 5 April 2022. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  38. "St John's Kirk". Carillon Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  39. "Perth, Perth and Kinross, Scotland, S John Kirk". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers . Archived from the original on 5 April 2022. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  40. "Holy Trinity Parish Church". Carillon Society of Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 3 July 2022.
  41. "St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, Holy Trinity". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers . Archived from the original on 5 April 2022. Retrieved 3 July 2022.

Further reading