Milestones in tower bell history


Elsewhere on this Website can be found a data page about each of hundreds of carillons, chimes and other tower bell instruments around the world.  The principal entry into that huge collection is by way of a set of index pages, which make it easy to find the data page for a specific instrument starting from some fact which you already know about it.  Such facts include the name of the owning institution; the city, state or province and country in which it is located, who made it and when, etc.  Some of the individual data pages report certain facts about that instrument which not only describe it but place it in a certain historical context.

Having found any particular data page, you can follow various links back into the same index pages in order to see how the instrument described on that data page relates to others in terms of individual characteristics.  Thus you can examine connections based on location, number of bells, weight, bellfounder, year of installation, and so forth.  From such connections you can discover a number of additional historical facts, such as oldest and youngest installations, smallest and largest, and so forth.  The bellfoundry indexes, in particular, will help you to learn something of the history of each foundry, though none are as comprehensive as a written history would be.

The page which you are now reading introduces a set of "milestone" pages, each of which identifies from a chronological viewpoint those installations which have a particular significance in the history of a major category of tower bell instruments in a major geographic region.  Each milestone identified in these pages (which are grouped below by region) consists of a link to a particular site data page plus a brief statement of the historical significance of the installation described there.  Thus each of these milestone pages outlines a broader historical view than can be easily assembled by simply perusing the indexes and site data pages.

Nevertheless, these milestone pages do not pretend to comprise a complete history of the art of the carillon, of chimes, of bellfounding, or of any other specific aspect of tower bells.  There is no mention, for example, of developments in the fields of bell music, keyboard design, playing techniques, bell frames and bell hanging, tower design, and so forth.  With those caveats in mind, explore and learn!  You are also welcome to propose additional milestones for inclusion, using the email link at the bottom of the relevant page.

Milestones in North American tower bell history

Milestones in tower bell history elsewhere

[To be provided in future - suggestions welcome!]

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This page was created 2003/11/08 and last revised 2020/08/07.

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