St. Anne's Church and Shandon Bells, Cork City
St. Anne’s Church, which dates back to the 6th Century is on of Cork City’s most outstanding attractions. Standing at 37 m (121 ft) tall it towers above the city making a stunning impression on the skyline, which is visible from wherever you are in the city. The Church is probably most well known for its bells: The Bells of Shandon. Visitors can climb to the top of the church tower where the bells reside and enjoy spectacular views of the city below, as well as getting the chance to ring the infamous bells.
Back in Medieval times, the Church of St. Mary stood on this site, however this structure was destroyed in the Siege of cork in 1690, and the church, which we see today was subsequently built in 1693. It's location is on Shandon Street, named after a district in Cork City, which derives its name from the Gaelic term “Sean Dun” or “Old Fort”.
The Shandon Bells
Constructed by the Rudhalls of Gloucester, the Bells of Shandon comprise of a collection of eight bells, which weight over 6 tons. The bells first cast their tones across Cork City on December 7th 1752 to herald the marriage of Henry Harding and Catherine Dorman. In 1865 the bells were recast and in 1906 they were hung in a fixed position in order to reduce the vibrations created by them because patients in the local hospital (North Infirmary Charitable Hospital) had complained about feeling these resonating bells in their beds.
Each bell contains an original inscription, which have all been preserved. They read:
- When us you ring we’ll sweetly sing
- God preserve the Church and King
- Health and prosperity to all our benefactors
- Peace and good neighbourhood
- Prosperity to the city and trade thereof
- We were all cast at the Gloucester in England by Abel Rudhall 1750
- Since generosity has opened our mouth our tongues shall sing its praise
- I to the Church the living call and to the grave do summon all
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