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BIRMINGHAM, Museum & Art Gallery 5, 62-2-0 in B

Grid Reference:- 139/066869

History Of The Bells

The Art Gallery, located in Chamberlain Square, is a fine classical building designed – like the adjoining Council House - by Yeoville Thomason. The foundation stone for the Art Gallery extension was laid by the Mayor on 19 July 1881. Completed in 1885, the building has a tall, 153' 4", clock tower "Big Brum", with a tiled pyramidal roof. 

The clock was supplied and installed by Gillett & Co. of Croydon in 1885 and it strikes the hours and quarters on five large bells. The clock and bells were the gift of Mr. Abraham Follett Osler (1808-1903), the Birmingham glass manufacturer best known for the crystal fountain he designed and made for the Great Exhibition in 1851. 

The order books show that the total cost of the clock and bells amounted to £1721. The clock bells hang in a wooden framework (supported on three large steel girders) at the level of the belfry window openings. The quarter bells all have the inscription "CAST BY GILLETT & CO CROYDON 1885 and the hour bell has "CAST BY GILLETT & CO BELL FOUNDERS & CLOCK MANUFACTURERS CROYDON LONDON On the waist: (border all round) / PRESENTED BY / A. FOLLETT. OSLER / JUNE 1885. "

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

Details of the Bells

1 Gillett & Co, Croydon 1885 38.75" 12-3-00 A#
2 Gillett & Co, Croydon 1885 42.75" 10-0-14 G#
3 Gillett & Co, Croydon 1885 48.00" 23-3-00 F#
4 Gillett & Co, Croydon 1885 61-50" 41-2-00 C#
5 Gillett & Co, Croydon 1885 70.00" 62-2-00 B

Photo Gallery

Birmingham Art Gallery - Source: Wikimedia
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