By Trevor S. Jennings
(Shire, Paperback, 9780852639115, 32pp.)
Publication Date: January 20, 2009
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The age-old craft of bellfounding involves specialised techniques and equipment that have been passed down through generations and are still used today. For centuries, the large bells in churches, clocks and public buildings throughout Britain have been cast, hung, and tuned by bellfounders and this book surveys the history of bell production and the development of moulding and casting techniques. To achieve the correct pitch each bell would be hand corrected with a hammer and chisel, an extremely noisy process which continued until the nineteenth century when the mechanised lathe was introduced. This book describes the intricate tuning process and the role of the bellfounder and specially prepared photographs illustrate the production process of some of the most famous foundries in Britain, such as those at Whitechapel and Loughborough.
Trevor Jennings, FRSA, is internationally recognised as a consultant, lecturer and author on the archaeology and history of bellfounding. He is a graduate and research fellow of Trinity College of Music and a Fellow of the London College of Music. From 1985 to 1994 he was the first Curator of the Bell Foundry Museum at Loughborough, and he has done pioneering work into the history of bell fittings.