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Irish Round Towers

47 46 bell castIng a monkish mystery Early Christian bells looked like cowbells and were rung by hand, but the round towers used heavier, cast bells. Irish custom even defined a bell ringers status Noble his work when the bell is a clog teachs, humble when it is a hand bell. Bell casting was developed in the eighth century, and the process was a jealously guarded monastic secret, so the towers were also byproducts of a new technology. Surviving Irish cast bells are not more than a foot high, but Margaret Stokes rang a small dinner bell from a clog teachs windows and it was heard half a mile away, so even they could be effective. Ravennas bell towers still function, but soldiers melted down Clonmacnoises bells in 1552 for cannons, and presumably any other round tower bells too. An old Irish law ordered ships to provide ropes for a local clog teach, so bells were probably rung much as today, hung high in the towers and pulled from below. A few clog tigh, such as Dromiskin and Balla, have been reused as bell towers in recent times, so their ancient purpose has not entirely disappeared. Ancient Bells of Ireland Bell of St Patrick Clog Beannaighthe
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