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Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry

I’ve often referred to Big Ben in previous posts, Big Ben the bell, not the clock tower the bell is housed in, although the majority of people call the clock tower Big Ben. You can see wonderful examples of the tower in SL and none better than the one in New London, pictured here! But did you ever wonder who made the bell in real life? Well now you can find out all about it in Whitechapel 1888 where there is a replica of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The Foundry also made the Liberty Bell for the USA as well, and the company still exists today! There is a reference in the Guinness Book of Records that the Foundry was established in 1570, listing it as the oldest company in Britain. In Spooks Blackburn’s Whitechapel 1888 you can read the whole history, and it would seem that the Foundry could be even older, with records going back to 1420.

I would guess that Big Ben is probably one of the most famous bells in the world, it measures 9’ in diameter and is 7’ 6” high and was cast on 10th April 1858. The Foundry’s trade is worldwide and a fascinating part of London’s history. Pop over to Whitechapel 1888 and visit Spook’s Whitechapel Bell Foundry. (Just a thought, I think schools and Universities could make good use of sites like Spook's Whitechapel in-world, he researches the history of East London so well and makes it so interesting, it makes learning local history a joy!).
Janey Bracken
(PS I have some more news about the New London Big Ben coming up soon!)

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