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Great Paul rings out as part of London's Festival of the Bells

The City of London was filled with the joyous sound of church bells on Saturday 31st July, as part of the London Festival of Bells. St Paul's Cathedral’s bourdon bell, Great Paul rang out on Saturday 31st July for the first time in approximately fifteen years.  

In the morning on Saturday 31st July, Great Paul rang out alone to herald the start of the Festival.  On this occasion, in what must be a first, the ringers included the Lord Mayor of London, the Lady Mayoress and the Bishop of London.

Later in the day the bell was rung as was intended when it was installed in 1881, a sound which has not been heard in decades.  Firstly Great Paul rang alone, then after fifteen minutes the bells in the north west tower joined in and all rang together until Great Paul gradually faded out.

Great Paul is the largest bell ever cast in the UK and the largest church bell in the British Isles.  Its total weight is 16.7 tons.  In the UK it is exceeded in weight only by the Olympic Bell, cast in the Netherlands for the 2012 London Games, which is currently not hung for ringing.

Watch Great Paul in action below, and discover more bell ringing videos on our YouTube Channel