Tour of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry
On a balmy May evening a party of Liverymen and guests enjoyed a most interesting visit to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, on the edge of the City and East End. Established in 1570 it is Britain's oldest manufacturing company and today is one of only 20 bell foundries left in the world and one of even fewer whose core business is the casting of bells.
A true family business, our private tour was led by the proprietor himself who gave us a fascinating insight into the craft of bell-making. Who would have thought that horse manure and goats hair feature in the process – used in a mix with clay and sand to make the casts linings. Once cast, the next step is tuning, an intricate process and a balance of size and hardness and thickness of the bell metal. Its most famous bell is Big Ben, cast on the premises in 1858.
After the tour a buffet was provided in the private part of the premises which we enjoyed in the company of the proprietor and his family.
If you were unable to attend you missed a treat, however, subject to sufficient interest, we may arrange a return visit at some future point.