by Joe Earp
The below extract is from Robert Mellors: The Gardens, Parks and Walks of Nottingham and District (1926)
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”.