Help Now >
FREE Catholic Classes
The upper part of the tower or steeple of a church, for the reception of the bells ; or a detached tower containing bells, as the campanile of the Italians. The term is sometimes applied to the timber frame by which the bells are supported; also to the room or loft in the tower of a church, from which the bells are rung. Originally it denoted a tower in which sentinels were placed to ring bells and thus give notice of the approach of the enemy, or a tower used in besieging a fortified place; it was of wood and movable. In England the bell-tower usually forms a part of the church, but it is sometimes detached from it, as at Evesham, Worcestershire, and Berkeley, Gloucestershire; Chichester cathedral, Sussex, etc. At Pembridge, in Herefordshire, there is a detached belfry built entirely of wood, the frame in which the bells are hung arising from the ground, with merely a casing of boards.
In Belgium, one of the earliest architectural expressions of the newly acquired independence (12th century) was the erection of a belfry. The right of possessing a bell was one of the first privileges in all old charters, not only as a symbol of power, but as a means of calling the community together. The tower, too, in which the bell was hung was a symbol of power in the Middle Ages ; the first care of every enfranchised community was to erect a "tower of pride " proportionate to its importance. The tower was generally the record-office of the city. All these uses have passed away, and most of the belfries have either fallen into neglect or been appropriated to other purposes. Of those remaining the oldest seems to be that of Tournay, a fine tower, though it is a good deal altered and its effect destroyed by modern additions. The belfry at Ghent was commenced in 1183, but the stonework was only completed in 1337. In 1376 a wooden spire was placed upon it, making the height 237 feet. This spire was recently taken down in order to complete the tower according to the original design, which, like that of most of the unfinished buildings of Belgium has been carefully preserved. When finished it will be about 300 feet in height, and one of the finest belfries in the country.
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
St. Maria Goretti
Mysteries of the Rosary
Saint of the Day for Wednesday, July 6th, 2022
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Prayer of the Day for Wednesday, July 6
Act of Contrition
Saint Feast Days in Jan
The Apostles' Creed
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, July 06, 2022
- St. Maria Goretti: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, July 06, 2022
- Prayer to the Holy Trinity: Prayer of the Day for Wednesday, July 06, 2022
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, July 05, 2022
- St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, July 05, 2022
- A Prayer for those who are preparing Children for their First Holy Communion: Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, July 05, 2022
Help Now >
Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.