Monday, May 17, 2010

Swan Bell Tower

If you ever get to visit Perth, you must visit the Swan Bell Tower. The bell tower is one of Perth's great icons. Located a the foreshor of the Swan river, this 83 meter building houses one of the world's largest collection of change ringing bells.

According to its website, the historic ring of bells was given to the people of Western Australia as part of the national Bicentennial celebrations in 1988. Among its many attributes the Bell Tower includes the twelve bells of St Martin-in-the-Fields, which are recorded as being in existence from before the 14th century and recast in the 16th century by Queen Elizabeth I. The bells were again recast between 1725 and 1770 by three generations of the Rudhall family of bell founders from Gloucester in England, under the order of the Prince of Wales who was later crowned as King George II. They are one of the few sets of royal bells and are the only ones known to have left England.

I had the opportunity to ring the bells. The instrutor tells us what to do

and i pull the rope

...the bell rings

..the other particpant also ring the bells. There are a total of 18 bells, altogether, they weigh about nine tonnes. Soundproof louvres and doors are used to muffle the sound or direct the noise towards the city or the river.

Since it opened in 2001, just over one million people have passed through the Swan Bell Tower's doors to see the 18 bells and other older bells found around the world inlcuding the earliest bells in Asia and the Middle East.

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