History of the Cathedral’s Bells

The tower above the intersection of the nave and the transepts contains the bells of the Cathedral. Over the course of the Cathedral’s history, there have been 3 peals of bells all cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry of London. The first of eight bells arrived in Sydney in August 1843, with these bells being the first hung for Change Ringing in Australia and rang for the first time on New Year’s Day in 1844. These bells were replaced in 1882 and a century later an entirely new ring of 14 bells were ordered and rang for the first time in 1986. Change Ringing is the method of bell ringing used at the Cathedral where the bells stand upside down and are pulled by a rope by the bell ringer to allow the bell to rotate and ring in tune with the other bells.

Cathedral Bell Ringers in action!

The construction of the central Moran Tower saw the Cathedral Bells moved in 1898 and today the central Moran Tower houses the 14 bells present. The Bells range in weight with the smallest weighing at 281kg whilst the heaviest weighs 1741kg. Each bell is named after a saint of the Church. Another bell is located in the Southern Tower of the Cathedral. This Angelus Bell is one of the original bells of the 1882 peal and is still rung everyday at 12 noon for the Angelus prayer and devotion.

Bell dedicated to St Bede – The Cathedral’s heaviest bell!