The origins of the Taylor Bell Founders date back to the 14th
Century, when a man called Johannes de Stafford began making bells not far
from Loughborough. The Taylor Family bought the business in 1784, and in
1839 they moved to the current site in Loughborough.
most famous bell cast at the site is Great Paul. Cast in 1881 it is the
largest bell in Britain, weighing in at a colossal 17 tonnes.
The first Taylor to run the business was Robert Taylor. This is a
brief outline of his life.
||Born at Riseley in
Bedfordshire. Son of William Taylor, grocer of that village.
||BAPTIZED 1st JANUARY.
||Completed his apprenticeship with Edward
Arnold (founding 1761-1800) bellfounder of St. Neots, Huntingdonshire.
||In charge of the St. Neots bell foundry,
when Arnold went to Leicester.
||Cast his first complete peal, of five bells,
for Bletsoe Church, Bedfordshire.
||Married Elizabeth, daughter of William
Fowler, Brewer of St. Neots.
||Cast five of the six bells for Rushden
Church, Northants. Evidently he had problems for he made notes about
the second bell as follows:- ". . . being doubtful of it coming two
low the cope and core was skraped to much which made it come # as ye
thickness of the crook was right".
||Cast the third bell of the ring of five for
Riseley in conjunction with J. Briant (1749-1829) of Hertford. This is
the first known partnership of the two bellfounders.
||Cast the tenor of six at Rushden, this
completed the peal of six.
||Started a bell foundry at Oxford, and the
tenor bell of the three at Foston in Lincolnshire has on it "Taylor
and Sons, Oxford and St. Neots".
||Recast the fourth bell of Lavendon,
Buckinghamshire, weight 7cwt 2qtr 9lbs, for £14 7s 7d.
||Died and was buried in St. Ebbe's
You can find this information, and biographies of many other
Taylor's by clicking here.
The bell foundry is open to the public, and makes an interesting
trip, especially if combined with a ride on the nearby Great Central
Railway. To find out about how bells are made, please visit