2021 marks the 70th anniversary of Liverpool Cathedral’s record-breaking bells being rung for the first time in 1951. When Liverpool businessman Thomas Bartlett died in 1912, he left a bequest for the construction of a huge array of 13 bells for the new cathedral which was then being built. The bells were cast at Whitechapel’s famous bell foundry in 1938 and 1939. The ring of bells weighs 17 tonnes, and surrounds the massive ‘Great George’ bell which weighs 15 tonnes on its own, making it bigger than Big Ben and second only to St Paul’s Cathedral’s ‘Great Paul’ bell. Great George cannot be swung, and is instead struck with a hammer.
Visitors to Liverpool Cathedral can view a small exhibition about the bells, including video and audio content and a selection of photos and drawings showing how the bells were made and put in place from the Cathedral’s archives. Each bell was given a unique name, such as the ‘Emmanuel’ Tenor bell (pictured above) relating to bible characters, historical figures and eminent people associated with the Cathedral’s history. Each bell also bears a unique inscription from the Prayer Book version of Psalms (Old Testament), except for the Emmanuel’s inscription which is taken from the New Testament.
Thomas Bartlett is a direct ancestor of our firm’s owners, and Bartletts are proud to continue a tradition of support for Liverpool Cathedral in its current fundraising efforts. It is possible to support the Cathedral in various ways, especially by making a donation or leaving a gift in a will to help this venerable Liverpool institution continue to provide its unique spiritual and charitable services in the community.