Aberdeen Bell

Material: Alloy of copper and tin, with iron clapper
Dimensions: Height: 29.7cm / 12in, Rim diameter: 25cm / 9 ⅞in, Weight: 12.11kg / 26lb 12oz
Place of Origin: Old Aberdeen, Scotland
Date: Dated 1741
Maker or Retailer: John Mowat
Present Location: Private collection


This copper-tin alloy bell was cast by John Mowat, bell founder of Aberdeen. Recorded bells by this founder range in date from 1733 to 1765. The bell’s inscription band, between moulding wires, reads:

IOHNMOWAT FECIT (rose) OLD (rose) ABD (floral border) 1741 (floral decoration)”.


Directly below is an acanthus leaf border which runs all round the bell, with moulding wires towards the rim. The bell has an iron clapper.

The bell formerly hung in Marischal College, Aberdeen (the second largest granite building in the world) and subsequently in the Old Library of King’s College, Old Aberdeen, which was built above classrooms in 1725. When a New Library was constructed in 1870, the two bells in the Old Library were disposed of.


  • The Church and Other Bells of Aberdeenshire Part III, Eeles and Coulston, p. 286-295, from the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
  • On the Chapel and Ancient Buildings of King’s College, Aberdeen. Norman Macpherson, LL.D (general & plate LXIX)

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