As the City reopened in July 2021, the bells of the City churches returned with a full day's programme of ringing.

Festival of Bells

The day started at 9:20am with the ringing of Great Paul at St Paul’s Cathedral in the presence of the Lord Mayor and the Bishop of London. This is the largest swinging bell in the UK and has not been rung for over 10 years. At 9:30am, the cries of Great Paul were answered by the ringing of the 12 Bow Bells at St Mary-le-Bow on Cheapside and then one by one, other churches in the City.

Throughout the day 165 bells from the towers of 19 churches rang out. This included the Royal Jubilee Bells at St James Garlickhythe, the ancient 16th century bells at St Bartholomew the Great, and the Coronation Bells at St Olave, Hart Street. The day included full peals of over 5,000 changes lasting 3½ hours at St Magnus the Martyr and St Michael’s Cornhill, and 2 carillon recitals at All Hallows-by-the-Tower. Over 150 ringers came into London to take part in the day’s festival.

Take a look

Watch and hear the quarter peal at St James Garlickhythe and the carillon at All Hallows by the Tower.

The day concluded with an encore by Great Paul at 3:30pm, this time joined by the mighty 12 bells in the other tower of St Paul’s Cathedral.

All the bells were rung by skilled bellringers, and over 150 of them travelled into London for the festival, including members of the three main London societies of the Ancient Society of College Youths, the Society of Royal Cumberland Youths and the Middlesex County Association.

Download the Day’s Programme here

Keep up to date with the latest news ...