St Georges Bells to Ring Again

Published in Issue 3 (Autumn 1999), News, News, Volume 7

The sonorous sound of the unique set of bells from St George’s Church, Hardwicke Place, silent since the church closed in 1990, will be heard again ringing in the next millennium at a new location in Dublin, in Taney parish church, Dundrum. The set of bells are an important and integral part of Dublin’s rich heritage. They were presented to St George’s in 1828 by Francis Johnston, the renowned Dublin architect who designed St George’s, the GPO and many other prominent Dublin buildings. He was a keen campanologist and presented the magnificent set of eight bells to the parish where they rang in the New Year for the first time on 1 January 1829. They have been immortalised by James Joyce in Ulysses:

Through the day and night, the bells of St George’s Church mark the call of time…

The bells were cast by Mears of London at a cost of 1,500 guineas and are the only set of ‘eight’ in Dublin. The fact that the bells are to remain in Dublin is good news not only for historians but for bell ringers throughout the world who have been concerned for their future for the past nine years.
Following the successful launch of the St George’s Bells Restoration Appeal in Taney Parish Centre their erection is now assured. The Taney Bell Ringers Society has been formed and already twenty people from the Dundrum community are being trained in the art of bell ringing in St Audoen’s Church and Christ Church Cathedral. They will be augmented and assisted by members of the St George’s Bells Society which was originally formed in 1875.
A sum of approximately £64,000 is required for structural work inside the Taney church tower, construction of a hanging chamber and ringing room, and installation of a sound-proofing system to ensure silent practice. Work is due to commence at the end of September 1999.
Donations and enquiries: Revd. Canon Desmond Sinnamon (01) 2985491 or Vivien Hood (01) 2986367.

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