Custom Big Bells

Custom Big Bells

Bell towers add beauty and tradition to campuses, churches, parks, and other institutions. As America's Bell Specialist, McShane Bell Company has been casting bells for bell towers for over 160 years. Talk to us about your large bell needs. We can custom cast to your bell tower specifications.

Bell Tower Options

There are a number of ways to configure your bell tower. Six or eight bells are the most common arrangement, but many towers have four bells and a few very large towers have dozens of bells. However many the number, they should be tuned to make a pleasing accord when they are rung together.

An important consideration is the size of the largest bells in your tower. A custom-cast large bell adds a beautiful sonority to the bottom of your chime. Often called the bourdon or in England the tenor, this bell can be the pride and joy of your tower.

At McShane Bell Company we can assist you in determining what size would best suit your bell set. Some common sizes for large bells include:

  • 83 inches diameter, 12,000 pounds, rings at G2
  • 71 inches diameter, 9,000 pounds, rings at Bb2
  • 63 inches in diameter, 4,888 pounds, rings at C3
  • 36 inches in diameter, 1,000 pounds, rings at A3

Personalize Your Bell

The largest bell in a bell tower is often personalized with a dedicated engraving. It's a nice way to honor a civic official, a historical figure, a saint or a church leader. We can inscribe your bell with the special message of your choice.

McShane can also build the controllers you need for your big bells and provide the installation. From concept to completion, we are with you every step of the way. Talk to our professionals about your ideas and let's bring them to fruition together.

Custom Big Bells

When you hear bell towers chime, what appeals to you? No doubt the lovely tones catch your ear. Perhaps the arrangement is particularly harmonious. If there is a great bell present in the tower, it will surely stand out. Great bells, also known as bourdons or tenors, have been the point of pride in bell towers for centuries.

Big and Bold

McShane Bell Company has been custom building bells of all sizes since 1856. We take special pride in crafting the large bells that adorn bell towers and carillons everywhere. While great bells are traditionally 8,000 pounds or more, large bells of smaller sizes may work for your installation.

As the largest bell in any tower brings prestige and honor to the community that erected it, it is often engraved with a dedication. McShane can add that to your custom bell to make it a true one-of-a-kind musical instrument. Popular dedicatees include saints, prominent civic figures, and whoever donated money for the bell.

Choices and Chimes

McShane can make bells of any size. Some of the larger options include:

  • A3 - 1,000 pounds, 36 inches diameter
  • F3 - 2,000 pounds, 42 inches diameter
  • C3 - 4,800 pounds, 63 inches diameter
  • Bb2 - 9,000 pounds, 71 inches diameter
  • G2 - 12,000 pounds, 83 inches diameter

Of course, big bells need some attention. From the design to the maintenance or restoration, McShane has you covered. We work with our customers from concept to finish to ensure that the bells are properly cast, installed, and cared for.

We also restore great bells. If you have a bell that has deteriorated past the point of repair, we can restore it or recycle it into a new bell that honors the old.

Ready to plan your bell tower? Talk to us about your dreams for a custom big bell

A Quick History of Bell Towers

Sometimes referred to as a belfry or a campanile, a bell tower is exactly what it sounds like: a tower that contains bells. Often found atop churches throughout the world, these towers are made so that the sound of the bells can be heard over distances. The sound of the bells may indicate the time on the hour, signal that church services are about to begin or commemorate an important moment.

Bell Towers in the Beginning

Ringing bells to call people to worship has happened since the Christian churches introduced it in 400 AD, and bell towers weren't far behind. In fact, the first bell tower was in a church at the beginning of the 5th century. Prior to the 14th century, most bells hung on a simple spindle that Deacons chimed by pulling a rope. They wanted more control over the ringing, though, and soon began mounting the bell to a quarter wheel that used a spindle as an axel.

Modern Day Bell Towers

Today, there are thousands of bell towers across the world. Although they are available in a variety of sizes and created from many different materials, they usually have a similar layout. At the top are often custom bells that spread the sound throughout a community or rural area. The bells hang in a metal or wooden frame and a rope tied to the wheel spokes extends to the ringing chamber. Most bell towers have six or eight bells with some having as many as a dozen or more.

While many ringing bells are automated these days, the towers still feature ringing chambers. The chambers have ropes that people can use to control the bells. Bell ringers stand in a circle to ring the bells and do so in a clockwise motion. Most chambers also have peal boards. These boards are commemorative of notable periods where bells rang non-stop for three hours. The boards may list history dating back hundreds of years.

Are you interested in learning more about bell towers and how you can get large custom bells for your tower? Talk to the professionals at McShane Bell for more information.

The Best in Large Custom Bells

There's nothing quite like the ringing of large custom bells. Whether they are chiming the time or are used in change ringing, the lovely resonance they create is unique. McShane Bell Company specializes in the design and construction of bells for bell towers. If you would like to add large bells to your tower, we can help.

Custom Bell Options

We can cast, ship, and install bells for just about every need. Some of our options include the following:

  • Westminster chime bells or a custom chime
  • A full carillon
  • Stationary or swinging bells
  • Beam-mounted bells
  • Swinging wheels
  • Striking bells with internal or external strikers
  • Programmed or controlled bells

For a custom chime, we can determine for you how many bells are needed for your tune. We can then plan the appropriate installation of the bells for your chime to sound properly.

Popular Large Bell Sizes

The largest bell in a concert pitch carillon is the C3, which can weigh 4,300 pounds. This is a common size and is much in demand for carillons in public spaces and at universities. McShane Bell Company has a great deal of experience in crafting this size bell.

There are some popular larger bells, particularly for churches, basilicas, and municipal bell towers. These bells add a special quality to the chime and often have special names. Some of the larger sizes include:

  • A 12,000 pound G2 that is 83 inches in diameter.
  • A 9,000 pound B-flat2 that is 71 inches in diameter.
  • A 5,500 pound B2 that is 65 inches in diameter.

We can assist you in determining which bell is the right choice to complete your tower. In addition, you can choose a custom engraving for your bell for dedication purposes.

Talk to McShane Bell Company today about what you would like to have in your bell tower.

Beautiful Bells Enhance Any Space

Walk across a college campus. Attend worship services in a basilica. Visit your government buildings. Chances are, at any or all of these locations, there will be a bell tower. Bell towers have been enhancing public spaces for centuries. The famous Leaning Tower of Pisa is a bell tower constructed between the 12th and 14th centuries. Your space can be enhanced with a custom-designed bell tower, too.

Custom Bells

McShane Bell Company has been casting bells for bell towers and carillons since 1856. We can help you design a new bell installation or add to an old one. Our services include:

  • Assistance in determining what bells are needed for your chime
  • Construction of bell frames for swinging or stationary bells
  • Bell inscription with a dedication or logo
  • Casting large bells for your specific needs

There are many options available for bell installation. You can have beam-mounted bells, A-frames with swinging wheels, and soft-pulling yokes. If you would like striking bells, we can install external or internal strikers with programmable controllers.

Big Bells

Big bells are what truly make a chime special. Typically called "great bells," the general consensus is that they weigh over 8,000 pounds. Their role is to be the bourdon of a bell tower. They provide a generous resonance that can be as much felt as heard.

A great bell that rings at G2 may have a diameter of 83 inches and weigh 12,000 pounds. You want experienced professionals to cast that bell and handle its installation. McShane can build bourdons for your tower that will serve your community for decades to come.

We also service bell towers. Repairs and restoration are a part of our job to keep your bells ringing throughout the seasons.

Contact the experts at McShane Bell Company today to get started with your bell tower plans.

How To Give Your Building Timeless Appeal

Building design trends and styles tend to come and go, but some building features (such as bell towers) are known to carry a timeless appeal. Whether you’re getting ready to have a city building built or some type of commercial building, here are some design features to consider that will give your building timeless appeal.

Aim for a Simple Design

It may be trendy to make your building complex and colorful. But if you want to avoid having your building go out of style quickly, it’s best to aim for a simple design. Simplicity is one of the oldest and most enduring design principles. A building that’s made to be simple, functional and clean will always maintain its appeal. Simple building designs are also usually more affordable than more complex building designs.

Consider the Surrounding Landscape

If your goal is to give your building timeless appeal, try to design it so that it fits seamlessly into the surrounding landscape. Brick and stone are two materials that blend well in most commercial environments. If your building is located in a historic area, try to make sure your architectural style matches the correct era. One great way to do this is to install old-world features such as bell towers.

Bell Towers

You may want to think about having bell towers installed as part of your building design if you value timeless appeal. Bell towers never go out of style. Instead, they have an old-world look that can add charm and visual interest to any shopping center, commercial building or city building.

Bell towers naturally attract people because they are unique, eye-catching and make great photo opportunities. Many people love the stately appearance bell towers lend to their neighborhoods and towns.

Order Your Bell Towers

McShane Bell offers some of the most beautiful and durable bell towers. Contact us today to learn more about the various types of bell towers we offer and how you can order yours.

The Benefits of Installing Bell Towers in Your Town or City

If you are a mayor or have been charged with improving the appearance of your city, there are things you can do to think outside the box. While parks and recreational areas are important features of any city, you may already have enough of those. If you’re trying to develop a unique feature to add to your city that will help it stand apart from neighboring cities, custom bell towers make a great solution.

A large custom bell tower will undoubtedly become a treasured city landmark. It will also help your city look more stately and impressive.

Advantages of Large Custom Bell Towers

Large custom bell towers can offer you a variety of advantages, including:

  • Become a natural gathering place for pictures, family outings, etc.
  • Improve the sense of local pride in the community.
  • Provide a unique talking point for your city that will last for generations.
  • Help your community become a favored destination for tourists who are looking for unique features to examine and explore in each town they pass through.

A custom bell tower can help your community garner more interest from both locals and passersby. Residents of your city will also love the pealing sound of the bells.

Where To Find Your Bell Tower

It’s easier than you may think to find a custom bell tower that will quickly become the pride of the town. McShane Bell Company has been a trusted provider of top-quality bells since 1856. You can trust that your custom bell will be made to your specifications and will meet or exceed your expectations.

Enjoy the Beauty of a Custom Bell Tower Today

You can improve the appearance of your city in minimal time by ordering your custom bell towers from McShane Bell Company. Contact us today, and we will get started on your order as soon as possible!

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