Many alumni who have been at College House in Ilam, will recall the College House Bell.
The College House Bell, weighs about 1/3rd of a ton, is made of solid brass and was cast in 1878 by John Warner and Sons – makers of the original ‘Big Ben’ bell which is housed in the Clock Tower at the northeastern end of the Houses of Parliament, in London.
The College House Bell used to hang beneath the Chapel but was a natural target for intruders from other Halls, determined to sneak in, ring, wake up our students and try to escape before being apprehended. The inconvenience was such that eventually the Principal of the time decided the bell should be taken down.
With the help of the university ground’s front end loader, the bell was taken down and stored safely at a secret location and this information is carefully guarded.
The College House Bell is reported to be quite damaged - eg. Chipping around the rim and ‘dings’ from sharp or heavy instruments and the ‘clanger’ is apparently spray painted with orange dazzle!
It is nice to think that in the future, maybe that a ‘suitable resting place’ can be created for our bell where it can be on display in perpetuity.