WHITECHAPEL BELL FOUNDRY

IDENTIFYING OLD WHITECHAPEL BELLS

Telling whether or not an old bell was made by this foundry is not as obvious as you might imagine. Over its half-millennium or more of existence the foundry has operated under several names. More often than not, these have been the name of the bellfounder who owned it at that time. The name 'Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd' did not come into use until the company was incorporated in 1968. Immediately prior to this, the foundry had traded as 'Mears and Stainbank'. Nor can you necessarily expect to identify an old Whitechapel bell by the presence of the 'sign of the three bells', the foundry stamp that dates back to Robert Mot in the 16th century. This was used on our bells for around 130 years before being dropped when Richard Phelps took over in 1700. It was not revived until Arthur Hughes bought the business in 1904, though it has appeared on all our bells since that time.

So how then do you identify an old Whitechapel bell? Well, if any of the following appear on a bell, then it is one of ours:

  • MEARS & STAINBANK
  • ROBERT STAINBANK
  • GEORGE MEARS & Co. (or GEO. MEARS & Co.)
  • MEARS OF LONDON
  • C & G MEARS
  • THOS. MEARS II
  • THOS. MEARS JNR
  • THOS. MEARS & SON
  • THOS. MEARS
  • W & T MEARS LATE LESTER, PACK & CHAPMAN
  • WILLIAM MEARS (or Wm. MEARS)
  • ROBERT PATRICK
  • CHAPMAN & MEARS
  • PACK & CHAPMAN
  • LESTER, PACK & CHAPMAN
  • LESTER & PACK
  • THOS. LESTER
  • PHELPS & LESTER
  • PHELPS & LESTER
  • RICHARD PHELPS
  • JAMES BARTLETT
  • ANTHONY BARTLETT
  • THOS. BARTLETT
  • WILLIAM CARTER (or Wm. CARTER)
  • JOSEPH CARTER (or JOS. CARTER)
  • ROBERTUS MOT ME FECIT
Bells that pre-date Robert Mot are identified by shields rather than their founder's name.

INDEX PAGE FOUNDRY HISTORY TOWER BELLS