"St Botolph Without Bishopsgate" Architectural Tip by alucas
Architectural, London: 133 reviews and 258 photos
Favorite thing: I was passing this church on my way back to Liverpool Street station, when the church bells started ringing. I then noticed that the church was open, and decided to call in for a look. There was a bell-ringing demonstration going on. I’ve never actually done bell-ringing, although it is my blood, as years ago my grandfather, uncles and even one aunt used to ring the bells at their local church.
The present church was completed in 1729, and is the fourth to be built on this site. It is unusual in that the tower is at the east end, above the chancel. Both the St Mary Axe bomb in 1992 and the Bishopsgate bomb in 1993 damaged the church. The first bomb only caused minor damage, but the massive Bishopsgate bomb, which so nearly destroyed St Ethelburgas just down the road, damaged the roof and blew out all the doors and windows. The church was declared a “Dangerous Structure”, and only after three and half years of work was the church restored to its former glory.
I climbed up to the bell tower for the bell-ringing demonstration, and was rewarded by an explanation of the mechanics and history of bell-ringing, followed by a demonstration. St Botolphs’ has 8 bells, all dating from 1782, ranging from the treble at 6cwt to the tenor at 25 cwt. For those of you not familiar with the old English weights, the metric equivalents are about 300 kg and 1250 kg. I must admit that I do rather like the sound of English bells and the tunes created by the change-ringing, although I am also very fond of the sound of Italian church bells all ringing at once on a Sunday morning !
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