Construction works are now underway at Taylor’s Bellfoundry in Loughborough to protect and enhance the UK’s last major bellfoundry which resides in Grade II* Listed buildings and onsite museum. The project is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Loughborough Town Deal alongside many others and led by the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust.
Set up in 2015, the Trust began work on restoring the bellfoundry’s buildings as well as developing the site’s museum to protect the ancient craft of bellmaking for generations to come.
Taylor’s Bellfoundry was built back in 1859 and is located just a stone’s throw from Loughborough town centre – has cast more than 25,000 bells located in more than 100 countries. Bells from the foundry hang in famous landmarks including London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, the Washington National Cathedral in the US capital, Australia’s National Carillon in Canberra, and South Africa’s Cape Town City Hall.
Last spring contractors were invited to tender the deliver the programme of works, with specialist heritage conservation firm Messenger BCR winning out. The Messenger team will work alongside internationally renowned architects Caroe, who drew up comprehensive plans to restore the Victorian site. Other specialist practices involved include exhibition designers Redman Design and museum retail experts cre8.
Phase one of the programme of works is now underway.
This includes the stripping out of the existing museum, removing internal walls – which were added to the bellfoundry in the 80s – and replacing the leaking roof. A new lift is currently under construction as are new disabled and baby changing toilets. Major repairs to the roof over the bellfoundry’s main covered yard are also underway.
The museum will be improved and enhanced too! The second part of the project to save the UK’s Last Major Bellfoundry will begin in 2024.
For further information about the project or volunteering opportunities visit: www.loughboroughbellfoundry.org
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