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“A very informative afternoon.”

Whitechapel Bell Foundry
Ranked #74 of 722 Shopping in London
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A very informative afternoon.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2014

Needs booking well in advance. Tour led by cheerful owner who has plenty of information to impart. There are not many places to sit (the odd large bell acts as a resting point) so be prepared to stand for over an hour. Fascinating.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Caroline P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    43
    19
    5
    2
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
33 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Neat, off-the-beaten path tour and history”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2014

The Hughes are fun and gracious hosts to tell the history of the bell foundary, East London and the craft of casting, tuning and hanging bells. If you like metalworking, or industrial history, this is a great tour. Wonderful craftsmanship and a dying art form being preserved by the Hughes family.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank HOUBONN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
92 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“An Enduring Craft”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2014

I have waited ages to visit the bell foundry. A friend got our tickets, and he says they are always booked quite a long way into the future.
The chap who showed us round was knowledgeable and communicative. (We have to take or leave the London sense of humour though! It's not everybody's cuppa cha.)
The tours take place at weekends, when the foundry's quiet, so I was disappointed but not surprised in just one respect. It's inevitable really on grounds of the ubiquitous Heath and Safety that you ain't goin' to see any hot metal (surely the most exciting bit of the process) despite the one or two misleading photos already posted on this site. Did this reviewer get special permission or something?

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Andrew G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Sussex
Level Contributor
29 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Ding Dong!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2014

Historic & very interesting. It's where Big Ben was made. An it's got a shop whre you can buy.......BELLS!!!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank MBayES
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“3 Octaves, a 5th & a 3rd.....”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2014

Booked this visit up a few months ago and, because they are limited to the amount of visits open to the public (this is a WORKING factory), we could only get tickets a few months in advance. However, it was well worth the wait and the guide was one of the most interesting and informative hosts I have ever had during a tour, making the subject interesting and informative with great enthusiasm and humour.

The foundry itself was a delightful step back in time, the land that 'elf & safety forgot and an insight into a centuries old business that remains the only place in Great Britain manufacturing the things that city dwellers often complain about when they move to the country.

It has to be said that the foundry is not particularly suited to disabled visitors due to steep wooden steps and narrow pathways or children who may be tempted to run around, knock things over and slice their hands open on machinery or tools. That said, for anyone with an interest in traditional work methods, the history of bell manufacturing, engineering, campanology and has a reasonable sense of personal responsibility, I would heartily recommend spending a couple of hours here.

I made a video of my visit which is on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRt5UPnadHQ&list=UUVMr3RxpTPzj2mgWhsamU9A&feature=share&index=1

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank BlindMouseGB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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