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Rudhall of Gloucester
Rudhall of Gloucester was a family business of bell founders in the city of Gloucester, England, who between 1684 and 1835 produced over 5,000 bells.
There had been a tradition of bell casting in Gloucester since before the 14th century.
The family business was founded by Abraham Rudhall (1657-1736) who developed a method of tuning bells by turning on a lathe rather than the traditional chipping method with a chisel.
One of the earliest ring of bells he cast was for St Nicholas' Church, Oddington in 1684. He came to be described as the greatest bell-founder of his age. The business was continued by his eldest son, also called Abraham (1680-1735), his son Abel (1714-60), and three of Abel's sons, Thomas (?1740-83), Charles (1746-1815) and John (1760-1835). In 1815 John Rudhall was declared bankrupt and the bell foundry bought by Mears & Stainbank who owned the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The business formally closed in 1828 but bells bearing John's name have been found with dates up to 1835.
Five bells, cast in 1702 by Abraham Rudhall of Gloucester, hang in St. James the Great, West Hanney, Oxfordshire: a sixth was recast in 1856.
Eight change ringing bells (tenor: 13 long cwt 3 qr 5 lb (1,545 lb or 701 kg) in F) at Old North Church in Boston were cast by Rudhalls in 1744 and hung in 1745. One bell has the inscription: "We are the first ring of bells cast for the British Empire in North America, A.R. 1744."
All eight bells from the Church of St Anne, Shandon, an iconic symbol of Cork, Ireland, were cast by Rudhall in 1750, although they were recast twice in 1865 and 1906.