John Taylor & Co. continues a line of bellfounding which has been unbroken since the middle of the 14th Century, when Johannes de Stafford was active only 10 miles from the site of the present foundry. Since 1784 the business has been in the hands of the Taylor family. In 1839 the business settled in Loughborough and is now proud to operate the largest bellfoundry in the world. Centuries of experience, together with up to the minute advances in technology, has put Taylors at the forefront in the design and manufacture of bells, their fittings and frameworks for all methods of sounding bells. Taylors were also the first bellfounder to adopt "true-harmonic" tuning in the late 19th century.
Thursday is casting day at The Foundry and we hope that we will see metal poured and a bell being cast during our visit, although this is dependent on production timetables being met. What we will definitely enjoy is a tour of the foundry which includes an extensive bell museum. We will also learn how bells are tuned and the intricacies of building and maintaining a carillon (if you don’t know what one of these is, you will find out today – and you may be able to hear the nearby Loughborough Carillion giving its weekly 1pm recital as we arrive for our tour!)
This is a very special place. Many churches & cathedrals across the world have used bells cast at Taylor's. In 1881 they cast the largest bell in Britain, "Great Paul", for St Paul's Cathedral in London, weighing 17,002 kilograms (37,483 lb) or more than 17 metric tons! We are sure that you will find this a fascinating afternoon.
Note: Tour lasts approx 2 hours. Strong shoes must be worn. Under HSE Regulations, anyone wearing open toed sandals will not be allowed in working areas.