Shandon Bells – Ring the bells of a historic church


St. Anne’s in Shandon and the City of Cork (iStock photo)

The Church of St Anne is a church located in the Shandon district of Cork in Ireland and its famous for its bell tower and bells, known as Shandon Bells.

Cork is the second largest city in the country and has an important cultural and musical tradition. The church is considered the most important ecclesiastical structure of any period in Cork. The name Shandon comes from the Irish, Sean Dún, meaning “old fort”. Built in the 18th century, the church is situated on a hill overlooking the River Lee. The church tower is a landmark and symbol of the city and the church bells were referred to in a popular Irish folk song. As it was built with two types of stone (red sandstone and white limestone), some historians believe that there is a connection between the red and white materials and the colours used to represent the city of Cork.

Shandon Bells Church (iStock photo)

The church is famous, as we have already mentioned, for its 8 bells.  The largest weighs a little over 1.5 tons. To reduce vibration, they were placed in a fixed position. Today, visitors can climb to the first floor and ring the bells themselves. There is a textbook to guide you into playing popular songs (such as Hey Jude, The Raindrops Keep Falling On My Hat, Kumbaya My Lord e. al.) The bell tower on the other hand is 36.5 m (120 ft) high. This is extended a further 15 m (50 ft) for the pepper pot adornment on the tower. The McOsterich family of Cork , who was involved with the design and building of the tower, has to this day a special privilege. Whenever a member of the family marries, anywhere in the world, the bells ring out in their honour. On top of this pepper pot is a weather vane in the form of a salmon, representing the fishing of the River Lee.

The church is free to visit but there is an entrance fee is for the bells and tower (€5 for adults, €4 for students). For more information visit the official site of the church.