FAQs About the Perth Bell Tower

Do you have a question about The Bell Tower?

The Bell Tower is one of the most interesting Perth tourist attractions.

Find the answer to your questions here.

Who designed the Bell Tower?

William Hames, Executive Chairman of Perth based architectural firm Hames Sharley (WA) Pty Ltd., is the architect who designed the Bell Tower.

Who built it?

John Holland Group constructed the Bell Tower.

Why do we have the Bells?

The St. Martin in the Fields Bells were gifted to the people of Western Australia to commemorate Australia’s bicentenary in 1988. Patron of the Bell Tower Mr Laith Reynolds was the one who saved the St Martin-in-the-Fields Bells from being melted down to form new ones, as they had become too heavy for the ancient foundations of the church in Trafalgar Square, London. After this he campaigned to have a specially built tower in Perth to bring them to life for all West Australians.

When do the bells actually ring?

The bell ringers ring every Thursday and Sunday 12pm-1pm. See the Bell Tower Ringers‘ website for any updates to their ringining schedule.

When does the ANZAC Bell ring?

The ANZAC Bell rings at midday for 1 minute. On special occasions, such as Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day, it may ring at different times.

How can I ring the bells?

You can have a go at chiming the bells! Take a look at ticket options and see the Bell Ringing page.

What can I see at the Bell Tower if the bells aren’t ringing?

Our Audio Visual System tells the story and history of the Bells and the Tower as you visit the three main viewing levels in the tower. The bell ringing viewing level houses our ‘It’s about Time’ display- We have amassed a fascinating array of precision timepieces, bells and optical instruments that demonstrate how time was kept in the mechanical era before the ‘world went digital’. On the belfry level you can see the historic bells of St. Martins in the fields in all their glory and also displays about the architect and builders of the Bell Tower. Our lofty observation deck offers spectacular 360 degree views of the Swan River and Perth city.

The impressive 6,500kg Anzac Bell is located on Level 5. On Level 1 is the oldest bell in Australia – The Upton Grey Bell cast over 450 years ago in approximately 1550, was once one four that rang out from the tower of the parish church at Upton Grey in Hampshire, England. You can see the old timber headstock bearing the carved date of 1763. The bell weighs 459 kg and visitors are enjoying the opportunity of being photographed with the oldest bell in Australia.

I want to hire the Bell Tower for a function, what do I do?

The Bell Tower can definitely help with venue hire for your function in Perth.  Our unique location enables us to offer a fantastic corporate function venue, small wedding venue or a cocktail party venue. Our professional team can tailor a proposal for your requirements.

For more information or to arrange a site visit, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly staff.

Can I bring a tour group/school group into the tower?

Yes, we welcome group bookings and school excursions in Perth, big or small to visit the Tower. The Bell Tower is a safe and controlled environment, our experienced staff are skilled at dealing with large groups of students and adults alike. The Bell Tower is an integral part of Perth’s heritage and something that every Western Australian should experience. For more information or to book your group, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly staff.

Who runs the Bell Tower?

The Swan Bells Foundation, is a not for profit, independent foundation established to promote bell ringing and manage the running of The Bell Tower.

Where are all the school names in the tower?

The school names are now located on the Signature Ring in Barrack Square – South East of the Bell Tower. The names are engraved on the Signature Ring which is a collaborative effort by local artists Simon Gauntlett and Matthew Ngui. It reflects a headphone-shaped design featuring fibre optics that illuminate interactive panels representing the passage of time from 2000 to the present.

I heard you can get married at the Bell Tower, is this true?

Yes! As one of the most unique wedding venues in Perth, we have successfully hosted many wedding ceremonies and receptions at the Bell Tower.

Are the bells rung by machines?

No, the bells are rung by humans! They are all volunteers and members of the St. Martin’s Society of Change Ringers Inc. (The ANZAC Bell is the only bell electronically rung, as it is 6.5tonnes).

Which tunes are played on the bells?

It is not possible to play tunes on the Bell Tower’s bells. Instead the bells are rung in full circle, each by one ringer, and controlled by a rope attached to a wheel beside the bell.

How much does it cost to visit the Bell Tower?

Prices vary, depending on what ticket option you would like to choose. For a list of ticket options, please visit our Book an Experience page.

Concession cards accepted:
Australian Government senior card holders
Centrelink card holders
Full time student card holders
Companion Card for Disability Carers.

A valid concession card must be produced to gain concession entry.
Children under the age of 5 years are permitted free of charge.

Where is the Bell Tower and how do I get there?

The Bell Tower is situated in Barrack Square in Perth CBD, Western Australia. You can catch the Blue Cat bus or we are a short walk from the heart of the city towards the river on Barrack street.

See the Plan Your Visit page for information about planning your trip to the Bell Tower.

Why is the Bell Tower sometimes called Swan Bells?

We are situated right on the majestic Swan River and the black swan is the symbol of Western Australia.

Can I learn to be a Bell Ringer?

Yes! Members of the The Bell Tower Ringers (St Martin’s Society of Change Ringers), the resident ringing group at Swan Bells, train newcomers at the Swan Bells. Depending on trainer availability, they offer a free introduction to ringing, followed by an 8-week course on Sunday mornings. Anyone interested are welcome to visit The Bell Tower Ringers website and contract them directly at belltowerringers.asn.au.

What is the Friends of the Bells programme?

Purchased a ticket for the Bell Tower Experience? For just $10 extra you can become a Friend of the Bells! As a valued member you are entitled to unlimited free visits for one year and a 10% discount on all our merchandise. When you provide an email address we will keep you up to date with special events and exclusive offers.

How does the Bell Tower fit into the community?

For centuries the role of bell ringing has been to celebrate the joy of weddings, victories and special anniversaries, and also to intone the sadness of deaths and funerals. For example in remembrance of the second anniversary of the Bali tragedy on 12 October 2004, the bells were tolled at dawn (5.40am), 16 times each hour on the hour from 7am-10pm and then for the last time at 11.08pm, the actual time the tragedy occurred.

The tragedy of September 11 was also remembered with a special ringing on the anniversary. At the Bell Tower we often donate our time and services to local and international charities and organisations such as the Camp Quality, Rotary, St. Vincent de Paul, and the Australia Cambodia Foundation amongst others.

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