Past and present

Mostyn House was established in 1854 as a boys’ preparatory school at Parkgate in Cheshire.  A carillon of 37 bells was installed on the roof over the chapel entrance at Mostyn House as a memorial to the 82 former pupils who lost their lives in the First World War.  The sound of the bells could be heard across the school and out over the sands of the Dee estuary and the belfry inscription instructed that ‘if ever Mostyn House ceases to be a school they are to be offered to a public school, preferably to Charterhouse, that they may go on speaking to English boys as long as England lasts.’

Mostyn House closed in 2010 and so the bells came (as instructed by the original subscribers) to Charterhouse in Godalming, thanks to generous financial support from friends of Mostyn House School and the Carthusian Trust (five Mostyn House war casualties were also Old Carthusians). The original memorial plaque, listing all 82 Mostyn House war casualties, is now in the Charterhouse Carillon ringing chamber.

The bells were removed from Mostyn House in April 2012 and refurbished at the John Taylor bell foundry, where bells were originally made in 1921; a new galvanised steel bell frame was made which could, at a later date, accept a further octave, taking the bells from 37 to 49 in total.  Finally, the bells were delivered to Charterhouse and installed in the refurbished  school belfry during July and August 2013.

The present location of the carillon was the original Chapel for Charterhouse, completed in 1874. When a new Memorial Chapel was built in 1927 to commemorate the 687 OCs who died in the First World War, the chapel became redundant.  In 1939 it was converted into a music school, with practice rooms, a concert hall, and a chapel for smaller congregations.

Facts and figures

Number of bells 37
Total weight of the bells not known
Weight of the bourdon not known
Pitch of bourdon e1, connected to c on the keyboard
Bell-founders

 

John Taylor and co (27 from 1921, 4 from 1921-22, 6 from 1923)
Manual playing system mechanical baton-type keyboard
Automatic playing system none
Carillonneur Mark Blatchly
Regular recitals none
Summer concerts none
Accessibility of the tower mljb@charterhouse.org.uk

Significant inscription

Mere boys, they saw their sticken county reel;
Their ready ranks rose at the trumpet’s peal;
How will you give them thanks?
They’ve set on high this trumpet peal for you;
Su must your life, like theirs, ring sweet and true;
You, too, have “joind the ranks.”

Fragment of the memorial plaque

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