The magnificent bells, set high above in the immense tower, were a bequest from Thomas Bartlett, a successful Liverpool businessman.

Thomas left money in his will for a ring of 12 bells for the new Cathedral which was under construction.

He died on 4th September 1912, more than a quarter of a century before the bells which bear his name were cast, and 39 years before they were first rung. In accordance with his wishes, his final resting place is in the ringing chamber where his ashes sit in a coffer on a stone plinth.sam 

Bell facts

  • The huge array of 13 bells, weighing 17 tonnes (16.5 tons), surround the massive 2.9m (9' 6") diameter bourdon bell 'Great George' which, at 15 tonnes (14.5 tons), is bigger than Big Ben and second only to 'Great Paul' of St Paul's Cathedral in London.
  • Great George cannot be swung, so hangs in one position and is struck with a hammer.
  • The number of changes able to be rung with the 13 bells is an unbelievable 479,001,600!
  • The world record for the heaviest 8-bell peal, ringing over 5000 changes without stopping was achieved by Liverpool ringers in November 2008 as part of Liverpool’s celebrations of European Capital of Culture 2008.
  • The bells have also been uniquely used to ring out the more contemporary tune ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon, again as part of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008.
  • The total weight of the steelwork holding the bells is 223.5 tonnes (220 tons).
  • Each bell has a unique inscription as well as a name, and all, apart from the Tenor Bell, are taken from the Prayer Book version of Psalms (Old Testament). The Tenor Bell inscription is from the New Testament.
  • Each bell has a name, chosen by people prominently associated with the Cathedral and its history, and relates to primary characters in the bible or to eminent people associated with the Cathedral or from history. The surrounding bells are shown here in descending order of weight
Bell Pitch Name Weight
Tenor Bell A flat Emmanuel 4.06 tonnes (80 cwt)
Eleventh Bell B flat James 2.69 tonnes (53 cwt)
Tenth Bell C Oswald 2.08 tonnes (41 cwt
Ninth Bell D flat Peter 1.78 tonnes (35 cwt)
Eighth Bell E flat Martin 1.22 tonnes (24 cwt)
Seventh Bell F Nicholas 0.89 tonnes (17.5 cwt)
Sixth Bell G Michael 0.71 tonnes (14 cwt)
Fifth Bell A flat Guthlac 0.64 tonnes (12.5 cwt)
Fourth Bell B flat Gilbert 0.60 tonnes (11.75 cwt)
Third Bell C Chad 0.56 tonnes ( 11 cwt)
Second Bell D flat Paul 0.53 tonnes (10.5 cwt)
Sharp Second Bell D David 0.53 tonnes (10.5 cwt)
Treble Bell E flat Bede 0.51 tonnes (10 cwt)