Exterior view of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Whitechapel Bell Foundry © Historic England DP130808
Whitechapel Bell Foundry © Historic England DP130808

Whitechapel Bell Foundry

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry produced large bells from the eighteenth century to its closure in 2017, when the owners of the Foundry, the Hughes family, decided that continued production of church bells at the Foundry was no longer viable, and they sold the buildings.

The new owner has developed a scheme for the Foundry buildings that would produce small bells under licence from the original owners, and would use some of the original tools. It would provide a measure of public access and it is sensitive to the historic fabric. As part of the scheme a new hotel is proposed, replacing a modern building at the rear of the site which is of no architectural or historic interest and not listed. Overall the design complements the setting of the historic buildings and the character of the Conservation Area.

We believe that the proposals, currently being considered by Tower Hamlets as the planning authority, have the ingredients of a successful heritage regeneration scheme, and will provide a sustainable future for this important group of listed buildings.

We have advised on these plans in our role as statutory adviser on the historic environment. For all planning cases our standard practice is that, following an initial period of free advice, we recover costs for additional staff time spent on the case. In this case the charge was £1076.30. Whether free or charged for, our advice is impartial and objective.

Updated 31 October 2019

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