image of Old St Paul's, Wellington

Ringing Again following Earthquake Strengthening

Ringers at Old St Paul's
From left: Ruth Lightbourne, Dylan Thomas, Christopher Jarman, Colin Saxelby, Derek Williams
Photo courtesy Simon Hoyle, Southlight Gallery

Wellington Ringers had the pleasure of welcoming back our Old St Paul’s bells at the formal opening of the historic building following earthquake strengthening on Tuesday 28th July 2020.

Old St Paul's Exterior
Photo courtesy Simon Hoyle, Southlight Gallery

Old St Paul’s was built between 1865 and 1866 on what was originally the site of Pipitea Pä, a Mäori settlement on Wellington’s waterfront. It is a beautiful building, famous as one of the best examples of wooden Gothic Revival architecture in the world.

Old St Paul’s hosts a ring of five bells with a ground floor ring. They are quite light, the tenor being just 4 cwts.

The original ring of (then three) bells were New Zealand’s first full-circle bells and were rung for the first time on 31 March 1867. In 1964 they were moved into the ringing chamber the new Wellington Cathedral and then later melted down to become part of the newer set of 14 bells that we ring at the Cathedral now.

The bells we ring at Old St Pauls today, are a ring of five bells cast by Whitechapel Foundry, the result of a major campaign and fundraising effort by the Friends of Old St Paul’s in the 1970’s to restore bells to the historic building’s tower. These were first rung on 27 October 1979.

We are honoured to be able to ring at Old St Paul’s again. We are looking forward to our ringing being part of the many weddings and celebratory occasions hosted in Old St Paul’s for the people of Wellington.

Ringers at Old St Paul's
Old St Paul’s reopening event on Tuesday 28th July 2020
Photo courtesy Simon Hoyle, Southlight Gallery

Source of the historical information.

Philippa Bowron, 30 July 2020

This page supplements the ANZAB Tower Directory, and records further information about the tower, its bells and ringers.

Some of this has been provided by local ringers, but most is historical and has been gathered by the ANZAB Webmaster since 2002.

Tower officers are encouraged to submit material for inclusion on this page, or suggest changes to its content.

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