Bell metal, wrought iron and wood
464 mm (Diameter); 60 kg (weight)
Place of origin
Attingham Park, Shropshire (Accredited Museum)
The courtyard bell, hanging in a cupola over the gateway to the Great Court on the north side of the mansion. Bell with an inscription - I. RUDHALL 1788 (scroll border) - indicating that it was cast by John Rudhall of Gloucester in 1788. The bell has a mouth diameter of 464mm (18¼ inches), its strike note is a little above C natural, and it weighs about 60kg (1½ cwt). The bell is complete with canons and argent (approximately 80mm tall). The bell is contemporary with the gateway, which was designed by George Steuart and built shortly after Attingham itself which was completed in 1783-5. The bell hangs in a single-level wooden framework within the turret, and it is hung with full wheel, headstock and clapper etc for swing chiming. The framework and fittings appear to be coeval with the bell, i.e. dating from 1788. The framework spans the circular space within the cupola, which has an internal diameter of 3650mm (12 feet) at this level. It consists of 200mm x 100mm (8x4 inch) timbers fixed together with iron draw-bolts. The wooden headstock carrying the bell measures 940mm (width) by 190mm (height) by 100mm (depth) (34x7½x4 inches) and the wooden bell-wheel has a diameter of 1120mm (44 inches). The bell is also fitted with an external hammer for striking the hours on the clock. The clock – supplied to Lord Berwick for Attingham in 1820 by Moore of Clerkenwell in London - is housed below in the chamber over the archway. The clock carries the signature of “John Moore / LATE / Handley & Moore / Clerkenwell London / 1820” on the setting dial.
Attingham collection; bequeathed to the National Trust with the estate, house and contents of Attingham by Thomas Henry Noel-Hill, 8th Baron Berwick (1877-1947) on 15th May 1953.
Makers and roles
John Rudhall, bell founder