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Whitechapel Bell Foundry Looking To Sell

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  • Whitechapel Bell Foundry Looking To Sell

    Makers of the Liberty Bell located in Philadelphia.

    Since 1570.....

    From the Spitalfields Life webpage...

    My dear Gentle Author
    I confirm that we have indeed accepted an offer for the premises which we will vacate in May. And I confirm that Alan Hughes has decided to retire. BUT I also confirm that negtiations are in place with potential purchasers for the business of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd which is a completely separate issue from the sale of the premises. We do indeed sincerely hope that these negotiations are allowed to continue and will conclude with a move to new premises for part or parts of the business. We continue to be open.
    Kathryn Hughes, Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd.
    To Join JTR Forums :
    Contact [email protected]

  • #2
    Petition to Save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry

    Petition to Save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry
    May only work for UK as it is a petition to UK government)


    • #3
      Hi all,

      Sadly, another long established East End institution looks set to close it's doors. Give it another twenty years and many of the few remaining remnants of the old East End will disappear. Forever!

      The City is fast encroaching, just look at Spital Square - I can barely recognise it from twenty or so years ago. Gentrification is also taking its toll.

      My first trip to the East End took place in 1987. Much had changed since the sixties and seventies (when many interesting Ripper related site photos were taken). But much has also changed since then. The death knell is sounding!

      My regards,



      • #4
        What is the present situation in regard to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry premises?

        Originally posted by Rbaynton View Post
        Petition to Save the Whitechapel Bell Foundry
        May only work for UK as it is a petition to UK government)
        As noted, over the decades, the foundry made bells for nations around the world, here, for the Anglican Cathedral, in Liverpool, the largest Church of England cathedral in the UK, made possible by money gifted via the will of Thomas Bartlett, who passed away in 1912 just when bells were needed for the giant bell tower of the newly begun cathedral, as noted in this on line article.

        The Bells! The Bells! 🔔

        On this day, the anniversary of his death, we remember Thomas Bartlett who's final resting place is over the door in the Ringing Chamber of the Tower of Liverpool Cathedral.

        There his ashes lie in an ornate metal coffer on a stone plinth. Requiescat in pace (RIP)

        The magnificent bells, set high above in the immense tower were a bequest in his will for or the bells to be completed after his death.[/quote]

        A shot of the Great George Bell --

        As per the following photographs from Hidden Liverpool on Twitter, the bells were hauled up through a round hatch in the tower, shown in the center of the color photo. The black and white photo shows the Great George Bell being hauled through the hatch.

        Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical" Hear sample song at

        Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
        Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at


        • #5


          • #6
            Thanks for that link, Phillip. Most appreciated. Glad to know that the historic building is still there, albeit plans to turn it into a boutique hotel have been turned down as of the end of 2019. (Incidentally, I will be risking things having booked into a boutique hotel in Baltimore for this coming weekend, during which I will be taking several people in a private car tour of War of 1812 sites in the Baltimore area, then going out to Frederick, MD, to speak about Francis Scott Key. Stay tuned.)

            Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Architects' Journal, 9 December 2019

            "Former Tory leadership candidate Rory Stewart has thrown his weight behind the campaign against proposals to convert the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in east London into a café and arts space." Architects' Journal, 19 December 2019
            Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
   Hear sample song at

            Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
            Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at


            • #7
              UK Housing Minister approves 31/44’s contentious Whitechapel Bell Foundry overhaul
              14 MAY 2021 by Will Ing, Architects' Journal

              Housing minister Luke Hall has approved 31/44 Architects’ plans to revamp the Grade II*-listed Whitechapel Bell Foundry in east London – and to extend the building with a boutique hotel

              The controversial plans were called in by the minister in December 2019 after Tower Hamlets narrowly voted to approve the redevelopment – despite more than 750 objections and a rival plan to return the bell foundry to active use.

              The 1740 bell foundry had been in use for hundreds of years before it closed in 2017, having produced both Big Ben and Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell. However, the application by 31/44 and US developer Raycliff proposed changing the site into a ‘mixed-use arts and production facility’, featuring only ‘small-scale bell casting’.

              Re-Form Heritage, an industrial heritage trust founded by Prince Charles, had sought to buy the foundry from Raycliff and return it to active use – instead of the historic building being turned into a café, production space and artists’ studios under 31/44’s plans.

              The group, previously known as the UK Historic Building Preservation trust, had hit out against 31/44’s plans, with chief executive Clare Wood saying: ‘Instead of being a revitalised place of pilgrimage of global interest and a huge boost to the local economy, it will be another boutique hotel of no interest to anyone but its transient clientele.’

              But planning inspector Paul Griffiths found that the heritage benefits of 31/44’s scheme would ‘far outweigh the limited harm that would be caused’, adding that the scheme was ‘very well-considered in the way it deals with the changes necessary for effective re-use’.

              Hall, on behalf of the Secretary of State Robert Jenrick, agreed with the planning inspector’s conclusions and granted both planning permission and listed building consent for the project.

              The planning inspector said that the applicant was not responsible for the heritage harm caused by the building’s change of use, as it has stopped being an operational bell foundry more than four years previously, due to unavoidable economic reasons.

              Griffiths also found that the proposed interventions with historic fabric were ‘designed in a complementary manner’ and were in many cases needed to secure the heritage benefits of the scheme.

              And he said the proposed hotel would have ‘an appropriate form’, that its detailed design is ‘subtle and pleasingly understated’ and that the gantry and bell proposed for its roof is an ‘appropriate reference to the former use of the site’.

              By contrast, the planning inspector savaged Re-Form Heritage’s rival proposal for the bell foundry, saying there was ‘very little of substance’ to show that the alternative plans could be financed or sustained, and that he was unable to say whether they would even cause less damage.

              Griffiths concluded that it was ‘abundantly clear that traditional bell founding of [the traditional] sort is not economically, environmentally, or operationally viable on the site’, pointing out that ‘what Re-Form propose is not traditional bell-founding of the sort that used to take place in the building’.

              He added: ‘While Re-Form held out the promise of [restarting an operational foundry], they could not point to any particular commissions, or provide convincing evidence that there is potential for them, or previously unexplored markets that might bear fruit.’

              He also criticised the charity’s campaign against 31/44’s application, saying: ‘Re-Form’s campaigning propaganda has neither fairly represented the application proposals nor, indeed, Re-Form’s own case. The former has been unfairly and inaccurately described by Re-Form and the latter exaggerated and spurious.’

              Re-Form Heritage's Wood said: ‘The secretary of state’s decision comes as a huge disappointment to all those who have fought to see this historic site continue in its role as an internationally renowned foundry.

              ‘There is no comfort to be gained from this decision, which will see irreversible damage to an internationally renowned Grade II*-listed site. Nonetheless, without our collective efforts, the site and its traditions stretching back over 400 years would have been lost without a whimper.

              ‘An important national debate has taken place. We can only hope that the inquiry is a wake-up call to prevent such losses in the future.’

              Raycliff and 31/44 declined to comment.
              Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
     Hear sample song at

              Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
              Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at