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John Taylor Bellfoundry Museum, Loughborough

(35+ reviews on the web)
Specialty Museum
John Taylor & Co, commonly known as Taylor's Bell Foundry or simply Taylor's, is the world's largest working bell foundry, located in Loughborough, Charnwood borough of Leicestershire, in the United Kingdom. It was bought out of Administration in 2009 by a consortium called UK Bellfoundries Ltd who successfully re-financed and re-established the business. Since then the company has re-established its presence not only in the UK but also in the North American Carillon and other export markets. The restoration of the foundry buildings commenced with the re-opening in 2012 of the foundry's own Campanile which contains the most pealed bells in the world. It is one of the few Victorian purpose built manufacturing sites still being used for its original purpose and therefore of considerable heritage merit.The company manufactures bells for use in clock towers, change ringing peals, chimes, and carillons. In 2005 John Taylor's had merged with Eayre & Smith Ltd (bellhangers) and from 2005 until 2009 became Taylors Eayre & Smith Ltd.The Foundry has a museum of bells and bellfounding which is the only one of its kind in the UK.HistoryThe present company is part of a line of bellfounders dating back to Johannes de Stafford in the 14th century who was also a mayor of Leocester. The Taylor family became involved in 1784 and a foundry was established on the current site in 1839. The Taylors also had foundries in Oxford and St Neots between 1786 and 1854. Taylors were the first bellfounder to adopt "true-harmonic" tuning in the late 19th century. The foundry is based in buildings on Freehold Street which are Grade 2* listed.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A fascinating look at engineering as it used to be before computers: making church bells and fittings in a works over a century old. There is fascinating museum too [if you like bells], including such...  more »
  • This was a special trip for my Bell-mad son's 11th Birthday treat. The tour was really informative, and great to see the Foundry working, the cast pour was most impressive. It was lucky to see the Sou...  more »
  • Went on an organised tour, which cost £10 and lasted about 2 hours. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and readily answered questions. I never realised such places still exist - they cast new bells...  more »
Google
  • Still doing the tours. Need to phone Taylors for more information but it's very unique and interesting! Well worth a visit. Look round the museum and working workshop and foundry.
  • Fantastic experience, even got to witness my handbell set being cast!
  • Church, Cathedral, Carillon and hand bell foundry and museum with friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff. Largest bell in England, now hanging in St Paul's Cathedral London was cast here. Parking can usually be found on adjacent roads. Museum offers hand on learning and is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, but phone to confirm.
  • Very interesting! I don't know whether they still do the tour, well worth doing!