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BIRMINGHAM* Metropolitan Cathedral Church of S Chad (R.C.) 8, 15-3-6 in F

Grid Reference 139/070876 chad - Source St Martins' Guild
Postcode B4 6EU
Affiliation St Martin's Guild
Peals Felstead Database
Sunday c.1200-1220 - after service
Practice None
Other Information Cathedral Website


St Chad’s was built between 1839 and 1841 to serve the rapidly expanding Catholic population in Birmingham. It replaced a Georgian classical chapel built in 1808 by William Hollins. The present Cathedral was designed in North German 13th century style by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852), the world famous pioneer of Gothic revival architecture. It was consecrated on 21 June 1841 by Bishop Walsh. The Cathedral is built of brick with Bath stone dressings. The south-west spire was added by Pugin’s eldest son, Edward Welby, in 1856 in memory of Canon John Moore (Administrator 1841-1848). St Chad’s was the first Catholic cathedral erected in England since the Reformation. It became the Cathedral formally in 1850. In 1941 St Chad’s was made a minor basilica by Pope Pius XII on the occasion of its centenary. St Edward’s Chapel was added in 1933 by Sebastian Pugin Powell, Pugin’s grandson, as a memorial to Archbishop Edward Ilsley, 2nd Bishop and 1st Archbishop of Birmingham. In November 1940 a bomb came through the Cathedral roof, bounced on the floor and exploded when it hit the central heating pipes. The pipes burst and the water extinguished the bomb, thus saving the Cathedral from destruction.

The bells are in the left, or North-West tower. They hang in a two tier frame, with 3, 4 and 5 on top. By the consecration Taylors had suppled a 17cwt bell. It was hung in the North-West tower, not as is sometimes said, the other tower. This bell was used for its metal when a new ring of 5, tenor 13-3-11 was supplied from the Whitechapel foundry in 1849. Blews augmented these bells to 8 in 1877. Though there was a quote from Carrs in 1939 for rehanging these bells the authorities were persuaded to replace them with a completely new ring. These were duly cast in 1939 and blessed in 1940. They are a fine example of their founder's art and are popular for peals, especially of Stedman.

There is an angelus bell of c.2cwt, possibly by Carr c.1895, with a diameter of 20.125" and sounding the note Bb in the South-West tower. This bell was hung there in 1993-4 after being obtained from a Victorian school or church in the diocese. It is sounded by a solenoid clapper operated from an angelus tolling unit supplied and installed by John Taylor & Co in May 1994.

(Most of the above information is quoted directly (with permission) from the research notes of Chris Pickford)

Details of the Bells

1 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1939   4-1-18  26.625"  1384.0Hz (F-16c)
2 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1939   4-2-24  27.625"  1305.5Hz (E-17c)
3 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1939   5-0-26  29.00"   1163.0Hz (D-17c)
4 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1939   5-3-26  31.00"   1037.0Hz (C-16c)
5 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1939   6-3-10  33.625"   923.0Hz (Bb-16c)
6 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1939   8-0-26  35.50"    872.0Hz (A-16c)
7 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1939  10-2-25  39.125"   776.5Hz (G-17c)
8 John Taylor & Co, Loughborough    1939  15-3-06  44.06"    692.0Hz (F-16c)

Details of the Previous Ring

1 William Blews & Sons, Birmingham  1877   4-3-14  27.875"
2 William Blews & Sons, Birmingham  1877   4-3-17  28.50"
3 William Blews & Sons, Birmingham  1877   5-0-07  29.50"
4 C & G Mears, London               1849   6-0-15  32.00"
5 C & G Mears, London               1849   6-1-03  34.00"
6 C & G Mears, London               1849   7-3-03  36.00"
7 C & G Mears, London               1849   9-2-27  39.50"
8 C & G Mears, London               1849  13-2-25  43.00"    692.0Hz (F-16c)

 Photo Gallery

 Looking East The Organ
The Cathedral -
Looking East
The organ at the West End

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