George Cadbury's Gift to Bournville
The idea of installing a carillon in Bournville came to George Cadbury on a visit to Belgium in 1906. When he heard the famous carillon at Bruges, which dates from 1675, he was impressed both by the sound of the musical instrument and also the obvious high regard in which it was held by its citizens. It had also impressed previous visitors such as the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who wrote his famous poem 'The Belfry of Bruges' in 1842.
So George Cadbury ordered 22 bells from the bell foundry of John Taylor & Co in Loughborough and in 1906 they were installed in a small stone belfry on the northwest corner of the tower of the new village school in Bournville. Only one of the original 22 bells - the largest - still remains but other bells have been added throughout the years, mainly donated by George Cadbury's wife and son in memory of the chocolate maker's death in 1922.
Find out more about the fascinating history of the Rest House by clicking on the button below: