Bishop Auckland, County Durham.
Auckland Castle Gatehouse
An order has been placed for the conservation and restoration of a very ancient large bell and its fittings. The traditional long waisted bell dates from circa 1180 and is inscribed, “STEPHANVS ME FECIT” (Stephen cast me). It weighs 6 cwts. 2 qrs. 24 lbs. and has a diameter of 28″. The discovery of such a large previously unknown 12 century bell has excited conservationists, and the completeness of the casting makes it even more remarkable. The bell was cast using the “cire perdu” or lost wax false bell method which was abandoned in Britain centuries ago.
Conservation work will be carried out to remove its cast-in iron crown staple, and a new independent crown staple will be manufactured for the clapper. A traditional hardwood headstock will be crafted to accommodate the argent and full set of canons which have survived intact. New stainless steel strapwork will be engineered, and the bell wheel will be refurbished before the bell is rehung in its turret for swing chiming.
Conservation work to this bell has been completed.
New fittings have been manufactured.
All is ready for dispatch.