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Alan Hughes Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Meet Alan Hughes whose family has been casting bells in East London since 1884. The foundry was established over 400 years ago. Most of London’s great bells were made here including those at St Mary-le-Bow, Houses of Parliament (Big Ben) and Westminster Abbey. The Foundry also exports to the USA and cast arguably the most famous bell of them all, the Liberty Bell. Alan explains how genuine cockneys are defined by the sound of bells and how bells form part of the city’s unique soundscape. London is energetic, constantly reinventing itself and a place where diversity comes together like a jigsaw.

About Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Take a 90-minute walking tour through Britain's oldest manufacturing company. Whitechapel Bell Foundry, situated in a Grade II listed building, was established in 1570 and has been making bells since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Learn about the traditional processes used in producing some of the world's most famous bells. The original Liberty Bell was made here, as was the largest bell ever cast at Whitechapel, Big Ben (a cross-section of which can be seen around the entrance). Book your historic tour in advance. All tours take place on certain Saturdays throughout the year.

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