Thursday, February 7, 2019

Historic foundry that cast the 1845 Petty Harbour church bell under threat. #SavetheBellFoundry

Here is an interesting little news story in the built heritage and intangible cultural heritage world.  I while back, I blogged about the 1845 Whitechapel bell at St. George's Anglican Church, Petty Harbour.  Back in 1981, the bell had been identified as one of at least seven Newfoundland Whitechapel bells.

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry has a very long and impressive history, and the Petty Harbour St. Andrew’s bell has some very historic counterparts, as the foundry produced such notable bells as Big Ben and the Liberty Bell. The business has been on its present site since the mid 1740s, is one of just two remaining bell foundries in Britain, and the foundry is reportedly the oldest manufacturing company in the UK.

Currently, the building and business are in danger of closing and being turned into a boutique hotel, even though there is a partnership proposal in place by the United Kingdom Historic Building Preservation Trust to keep the site open as a working foundry.

An online petition to save the foundry is rapidly gaining signatures.

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