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Giant bell has Christmas a-peal

18 Dec 2012

A giant bell designed and built by architecture students at The University of Manchester will be chiming in the festive season at one of the region’s favourite parks.

Chime Pavillion

The second years - who are studying at Manchester School of Architecture -  took four weeks to build the musical monument at the University’s architectural workshop.

Four people can fit inside the 2.5m by 4m structure  - called Chime- at the National Trust’s Dunham Massey, Altrincham.

It contains a series of smaller working bells, giving visitors the chance to test their campanological skills.

Chime is one of five pavilions built by the students as part of a competition for the students which is held every year. All six will be on display until at least next summer.

The servants who lived and worked at the estate’s nearby manor house would have received their order via a compacted bell system – which inspired the design.

Steve Kirk, one of the designers, said: “We are extremely grateful for the National Trust for creating this project and hope it is something visitors to Dunham Massey will see and enjoy.

“Our work is about encouraging people to go outside and explore the park, one of the jewels of the North West, as well as thinking about the history of the bell systems from within the main house.

“It’s a lot of fun ringing the bells within the structure and playing the melodies inscribed on to panels inside- so we think the pubic will really enjoy themselves.”

Technician James Backhouse, based at the workshop said: “This is an excellent project and last year’s designs proved to be very popular.

“It’s a great testament to the students who have funded, designed and built these pavilions themselves. We are very proud of them.”

Architecture lecturer Siobhan Barry, who instigated the project with the National Trust said: "This project is a fantastic opportunity for the students to work with such a prestigious and forward thinking client so early in their architectural career.

“I am incredibly proud of them."

Notes for editors

Images are available of the bell


The students who led the project are:
Sophie Hodges
Steve Kirk
Georgina Naish
Olivia Paine
Will Wilkinson
George Williams

Steve Kirk and James Backhouse are available for comment

For media enquires contact:
Mike Addelman
Press Officer
Faculty of Humanities
The University of Manchester
0161 275 0790
07717 881567