Centenary celebrations for iconic Carillon Tower

Published: Wed 18th January, 2023

  • Photo from left to right: Cllr Jonathan Morgan, leader of Charnwood Borough Council, Cllr Jenny Bokor, lead member for Loughborough, Cllr Jennifer Tillotson, Mayor of Charnwood and Mel Gould, Chairman of the Loughborough Carillon Tower and War Memorial Museum
    Photo from left to right: Cllr Jonathan Morgan, leader of Charnwood Borough Council, Cllr Jenny Bokor, lead member for Loughborough, Cllr Jennifer Tillotson, Mayor of Charnwood and Mel Gould, Chairman of the Loughborough Carillon Tower and War Memorial Museum

Loughborough’s historic war memorial, the Carillon Tower is marking its 100-year anniversary in 2023.

The tower, located in Queen’s Park in Loughborough is one of the most well-known monuments and instruments in the town and pays tribute to Loughborough servicemen who have lost their lives in conflict since the First World War.

Charnwood Borough Council will be marking the momentous occasion with a service at the tower on Saturday July 22, 2023, exactly 100 years since the Carillon was officially unveiled.

There will also be other events throughout the year to mark the centenary.

Cllr Jenny Bokor, the council’s lead member for Loughborough, said: “We are so proud of the Carillon Tower and its history, and I am pleased to see that we are marking the war memorial’s historic year.

“The Carillon Tower pays tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives for their country and it is so important that we honour them.

“This year will be such a historic year for the tower and all those who are connected with it.”

Mayor of Charnwood, Cllr Jennifer Tillotson, said: “The Carillon Tower is one of the most well-known buildings in Charnwood and we are very pleased to have it in Loughborough and it is important that we mark its centenary.

“It is especially important to Loughborough because as well as being our war memorial, the Carillon bells were cast by Taylor’s Bell Foundry, which was then and is still located here in Loughborough.

“Throughout the year, the Carillon is the foundation for many of our events and a fantastic monument.”

Caroline Sharpe is the borough’s carillonneur and gives recitals at the tower throughout the year.

Caroline said: “It's an honour to be carillonneur at Loughborough and to be able to mark the centenary year of such a unique and iconic war memorial."

The tower, which is maintained by the Council, is also home to the Loughborough Carillon Tower and Museum Trust.

Mel Gould, chairman of the Loughborough Carillon Tower and War Memorial Museum, said: "The people of Loughborough are rightly proud of their most noble and beautiful war memorial and it has become, almost a right of passage, for children to climb the steps to the top." 

You can find out more about the Carillon Tower and War Memorial Museum on their website.

The Carillon Tower was built after the First World War.

The first brick was laid 101 years ago on January 22, 1922 before the official unveiling in July the following year by Field Marshall Sir William Robertson.

A total of 47 bells are housed in the Carillon Tower which were cast at Loughborough based John Taylor and Co Bell Foundry, the last major bell foundry in Britain. Loughborough is now synonymous with bells.

The Carillon Tower was designed by Sir Walter Tapper, the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects and displays the names of those who lost their lives in the First World War, Second World War, Korean and Falkland Wars and the conflict in Cyprus around its outside walls.

As well as the service in July, events and exhibitions are being planned during 2023 including. The Sock Gallery at Loughborough Town Hall will be holding an exhibition on June 17, 2023 at 2pm. This will look at the history of the Alexandra Bedspread with researcher Deborah Moxom which was created to raise money to build the tower over 100 years ago.

The Council will be sharing stories, images, videos and information to mark the tower’s centenary throughout the year.

You can find more out about the Carillon Tower on our dedicated Carillon Tower Centenary webpage.