The Chinese Bell: Nottingham Arboretum

by Joe Earp 

The below extract is from Robert Mellors: The Gardens, Parks and Walks of Nottingham and District (1926)

Arboretum2

Credit: The Paul Nix Collection

The structure called “The Chinese Bell”, calls for a word of explanation, for it is a curious conglomeration of ideas and objects.

(1.) Richard Birkin, Esq, had efficiently served his fourth year of office as Mayor, and it was desired to record the event with approval.

(2.) ‘The Notts Regiment of Foot’ had deserved well of their town and county, which had sent it so many good soldiers that it ought to be recorded.

(3.) In the Crimean War of 1854-6 some cannon guns were taken at Sebastopol, and two of them were sent to Nottingham and mounted, and a heap of balls added.

(4.) During the war with China (1857) a bell, believed to consist of steel and silver, was “taken from a large and handsome Temple near to the east gate at Canton, when that city was captured. This bell, which stood in the principal part of the Temple and was struck during religious ceremonies to call the attention of the joss or god, or to announce his presence, was removed by the army, and brought to Nottingham, and here it was mounted and a canopy placed over it. The result being that guns partly Russian are mounted as firing from a Chinese Temple into the four quarters of the earth; while the bell has never been used”.

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About nottinghamhiddenhistoryteam

Originally formed in 1965 to try to save or at least record before destruction the cave sites continually discovered during the major redevelopment of the City that took place in Nottingham in the 1960′s. Almost every day new sites were unearthed and destroyed before anyone was notified; last thing they wanted was someone telling them to stop what they were doing; TIME is MONEY. The word HIDDEN in the Team’s title is because a lot of what was being invisibly lost in the redevelopment was our early history in the caves, they are under most, if now all, of Nottingham. In the 80’s and 90’s the Team conducted with the help of Dr Robert Morrell and Syd Henley, research and work on Nottingham’s history, folklore and local archaeology. The Team published quarterly magazines on their findings. The Team lapsed for a few years after the death of Paul Nix who was the team leader for thirty plus years. The Team has reformed and is now back working on Nottingham local history. On this blog you will find a series of history, folklore and archaeological related articles and information. Most of the material published will be specifically related to Nottingham/shire local history.
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