Armagh

St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Roman Catholic)

In 1920 the present 39-bell Taylor carillon with a bass bell of 43 cwt (2190 kg) in C was installed in the north west tower of the cathedral. It is now the oldest surviving complete Taylor carillon.

This instrument has had a chequered history; in its early years it seems to have been quite well used, but by the late 1940’s it had fallen into disuse. Substantial work was carried out by the firm of Armitage Clock & Bells during 1985 and 1986 which made it fully playable again and may well have saved it from total collapse and redundancy. Unfortunately, there was still very little interest in playing the carillon regularly.

In 2003 Taylor’s  carried out a renovation of the carillon which included new clappers and crown staples throughout and new headstocks for the fourteen smallest bells, new wiring, springs and carriers, new wire steadiers, adjusters and weatherboard. At the same time a new clavier (North-American standard) was supplied. Due to the extreme weather conditions and years of neglect, the old clavier needed replacement.

The existing frame and rollerbars (not original) were retained in accordance with the procedures regulating restoration of historic buildings in Ireland. Furthermore every part of the mechanism was cleaned and lubricated and the frame re-painted. Louvres were also installed in the bell chamber windows. The fine-tuning of the installation was supervised by Gideon Bodden from The Netherlands.

Sadly the carillon is not currently played regularly.

(History courtesy of the World Carillon Federation)

Bells: 39 (C-E in fourth octave missing two bass semitones)

Heaviest bell: pitched to C, 43 cwt, 0 qr, 14 lb (2190 kg)

Transposition: non-transposing (bottom note of clavier is C)

Construction: 1920, J. Taylor & Co.

Address:
St.Patrick’s Cathedral (R.C.)
Cathedral Road
Armagh
Northern Ireland