The Grahamstown Cathedral bell tower was erected in 1879 and the first ring of bells was hung in the same year. Between 1879 and 1997, several changes were made to the bells and bell fittings.

The bell tower contains a ring of 10 bells, which are the oldest and heaviest bells in the country. These bells were the first ring to be installed in the whole of Africa.

The bells range a full octave from bell 1 (G) to bell 8 (G), with two extra notes on bell 9 and 10 (F and E♭).

Church bells are immensely heavy, and the bells at the Grahamstown Cathedral range from 288kg – 1302kg.

At present, the Cathedral is working to train a new group of bell ringers, so as to ring at each Sunday service. Children as young as 8 are learning how to ring. Catherine Letcher is leading this initiative, alongside the Cathedral’s Director of Music, Cameron Luke.

To learn more about the bells, watch here:

Let us move on to looking at the music within the Cathedral:

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