193 Salem St. Boston, MA 02113
Phone: (617) 523-6676
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Bell Ringing

historic-bell-ringing-p_bellringing

The oldest set of change ringing bells in North America can be found at Old North Church. The eight change ringing bells were cast by Abell Rudhall in Gloucester, England in 1744. They were hung in 1745. In the ringing room today hangs a copy of a 1750 charter in which the guild agreed upon a democratic organization of the tower. Interestingly, Paul Revere is the second signature on that contract.

The bells were restored in 1894, and then were mostly idle. They were restored (again) in 1975 with the help of Geoffrey Davies, of Simon W. Robinson Lodge in Lexington, for the Boston Bicentennial celebration. They have been rung regularly ever since.

Please click here for a demonstration of the bell ringers in action!

The eight bells of the Old North

Bell One
Sound:
Weight:
Inscription:
(Treble) F
5 cwt, 2 qr, 4 lbs
Abel Rudhall of Gloucester, cast us all, Anno 1744.
Bell Two
Sound:
Weight:
Inscription:
(Treble) E
5 cwt, 2 qr, 6 lbs
Since generosity has opened our mouths, our tongues shall ring aloud its praise. 1744.
Bell Three
Sound:
Weight:
Inscription:
(Treble) D
6 cwt, 1 qr, 3 lbs
The subscription for these bells was begun by John Hannmock and Robert Temple, Church Wardens, Anno 1743; completed by Robert Jenkins and John Gould, church Wardens, Anno 1744.
Bell Four
Sound:
Weight:
Inscription:
(Treble) C
7 cwt, 1 qr, 3 lbs
William Shirley, Esq., Governor of the Massachusetts Bay, in New England. Anno 1744.
Bell Five
Sound:
Weight:
Inscription:
(Treble) B flat
7 cwt, 1 qr, 21 lbs
God preserve the Church of England. 1744.
Bell Six
Sound:
Weight:
Inscription:
(Treble) A
8 cwt, 1 qr, 24 lbs
We are the first ring of bells cast for the British Empire in North America. A.R. 1744.
Bell Seven
Sound:
Weight:
Inscription:
(Treble) D
10 cwt, 2 qr, 24 lbs
This Church was founded in the year 1723. Timothy Cutler, DD, the first Rector, A.R. 1744
Bell Eight
Sound:
Weight:
Inscription:
(Tenor) F
13 cwt, 3 qr, 5 lbs
This peal of eight bells is the gift of a number of generous persons to Christ Church, in Boston, N.E. Anno 1744. A.R

 

Bell ringing at Old North usually takes place every Sunday with practice on Saturday. Further bell ringing information can be obtained by contacting the Guild Officers at bell ringers@mit.edu.

The information for this page was originally complied by Roberta E. Young.

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Historic Site Hours


Jan-Feb: 10am - 4pm
March-May: 9am - 5pm
June-Oct: 9am - 6pm
Nov-Dec: 9am - 5pm

$3 per person donation appreciated

Episcopal Church Services


Sundays:
9am Communion
11am Communion with music